Both of these are updates (hopefully near final update) on two long term efforts by the library.
The first, the Professional Development Plan, was a project the trustees required over a year ago when we hired our current library director. At the time, the feelings by the trustees were that the next time we had senior staff openings that we wanted to hire from within. While our current library director did come from within our organization, we wanted more Timberland staff to be able to stand for positions like library director.
The ten month program will start next year at some point.
The next, the Action Plan, will be the new way we connect with our patrons and communities, constantly updating our understanding of their needs and adapting the library to change. In essence, this process will replace every five year strategic plan process Timberland had used. Instead, we’ll go through this process each year as part of our budget process.
The one concern I had about this plan was the idea of community chats. In the document presented to the board by staff, they’re scheduled to occur every October. At the board’s last meeting we had a lengthy discussion about moving these chats forward to May, front loading the process (at least in my mind) with direct community input and conversation.
While we are collecting a lot of data from direct surveys from users and non-users, there is a fundamental difference between input you get from a Q&A and a conversation among several people. While the in-person community chats will be open to the public, we’ll also make an effort to invite specific community members.
And, since we are making that effort, who should we invite to the chats?