November 24, 2020

DC Public Library Releases New Five-Year Strategic Plan

Direct to Full Text Plan Document (40 pages; PDF)

From a DC Public Library News Release:

District residents may see changes at their neighborhood library over the next few years. The DC Public Library released its new ³Know Your Neighborhood” five-year strategic plan that aims to increase usage by customizing services at the city¹s 26 locations.

2017-06-05_12-49-04Overall, the vision for the plan is for each neighborhood library to offer programs, services and resources that respond to and reflect its distinctive community. The Library will focus on inclusion and equity while advancing four priorities that will improve the lives and well-being of District residents.

Despite the Library’s success over the last decade, there are still residents who can benefit from the Library’s services who are not using us at all or only seldomly, said Richard Reyes-Gavilan, executive director of the DC Public Library. ³While the Library is proud of the all that it has accomplished over the last 10 years, we can do more to make it indispensible to more residents. As one of the few institutions that has the capability to serve all District residents, we are uniquely positioned to provide the services they need to be successful readers, students and learners for their entire lives.

2017-06-05_12-56-02The Library believes that increased participation and satisfaction will serve as the best indicators of how it has improved the value it offers District residents. As a result, it aims to ensure that 75% of the city’s residents have active library cards, five million visits occur every year at its facilities and library events, and five million books and other items are borrowed annually.

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Priority Areas

Each priority area in the strategic plan includes initiatives that are in progress or planned. While the initiatives may evolve or change in the coming years, they will relate to one of the Library’s four priority areas:
· Creating a Love of Reading Amongst Residents: The Library will provide services and programs that build and cultivate literacy and a love of reading.

· Developing Digital Citizenship: The Library will help prepare residents for life online by providing technology and Internet access and training.

· Building Stronger Communities: The Library will ensure neighborhood libraries are vital centers of community learning and civic engagement through services, programs, outreach and increased use of the Library¹s physical campus.

· Embracing and Celebrating Local History & Culture: The Library will foster understanding and appreciation of what makes D.C. unique by connecting residents to the District¹s past and present as well as providing access to, experiences in and support for local history and culture.

Developing the Plan

2017-06-05_12-54-42The “Know Your Neighborhood” plan was developed after engaging 2,200 individuals across the District on the future of the library system. Overall, District residents said that they see the Library of the future as a community learning hub with branches serving their community in unique ways. Quality books ranked as one of the top services residents use most. Residents priorities for library services varied significantly based on where they live. For example, Ward 8 residents, African-American and Latino residents, as well as residents with young children cited access to computers and technology as a priority. And when asked what residents wished the Library offered, African-American residents were much more likely than white residents to point to faster, more reliable Internet access and more computers.

Direct to Full Text Plan Document (40 pages; PDF)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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