• Information-Imagination-Connections •
We are pleased to present the Martinsburg-Berkeley County Public Libraries Strategic Plan, 2016 - 2020. Our fresh new mission reflects the guiding principles INFORMATION ▪ IMAGINATION ▪ CONNECTIONS and the goals focus on the library's role in continuing to be a community resource for all of Berkeley county.
Comment from discussion: "A library is a..."
"Gathering place for people with similar interests."
"Children’s programs that encourage reading and learning."
"Place to find out what is going on in the community."
"Place where people could learn how to use the latest technology – how to access books online, find resources online”
The Martinsburg-Berkeley County Public Libraries (MBCPL) serves a growing community of over 107,000 people. Within the last five years, our materials have circulated an average of 300,000 per year. Last year we held 3 programs a day, and served 650 people per day. A thriving new branch was opened in Hedgesville; one of our other three facilities was remodeled. We continue to integrate new technology, and services as our finances allows. Last year, because of a substantial cut in local tax-based library funding, securing additional funds became our top priority. Our new five year strategic plans and goals emphasize this new funding priority.
The strategic planning committee worked with a facilitator who guided the team through a series of meetings to provide a global picture of the library and its services. The team determined areas of focus for the future of the library system. The first external survey was taken by over 800 community members. The respondents answered questions about their current use of library services, constraints on using the library services; the importance of library services to their lives; and views on the future of the libraries. We also had an internal survey that focused on, outreach, staff development, technology, training, customer service and branch services. Discussions with stakeholders and the successes of our previous strategic plan were also used to form our new five-year strategic plan. All of these along with libraries best practices were used in developing this plan. Our hope is that this strategic plan be used as a framework for meeting the needs of our community and achieving that vision that library services are transformative, innovative and valued by all.
The Martinsburg-Berkeley County Public Libraries mission is to enhance the lives of all Berkeley County residents through the transformative power of information, imagination and connections.
The future of our library system is to:
Have secure, stable funding.
Be recognized as a primary resource for educational support, self-directed learning, and literacy.
Be a welcoming community gathering place and a cornerstone of family, cultural, and civic life.
Provide invaluable tools for building the community’s economic development.
Be a forward-thinking organization that maximizes the potential of each employee.
To fulfill our mission and realize our vision, the following ideals help direct us in our service to the community and interaction with one another.
Inclusiveness- Offer rich cultural and intellectual resources available to all.
Community- Provide opportunities for people to meet and exchange ideas.
Collaboration- Work with community partners to accomplish goals based on common missions.
Respect- Honor diversity, individual perspectives, and the right to privacy and confidentiality.
Accountability- Be a responsible steward of the public’s resources and trust.
Learning- Promote education and literacy in all formats.
Secure Stable Funding
Based on current WV State Code, public libraries cannot seek a levy directly from taxpayers; they must be sponsored by either a school board, or county commission levy.
We will work with elected officials, and community members to change the State Code to allow all libraries the ability to secure funding from taxpayers in the form of a levy. Achieving this objective will depend on multiple factors such as economic development, the will of the people and elected officials: therefore we have not set timeline.
Comment from Survey: “I believe the libraries are a very important resource to have for children & adults. I really wish more funding would be made available even if it would mean a slight raise in property taxes”.
The library will have a more active library foundation whose goal will be to increase fundraising efforts by December 2017.
Supporting Comments: Over the last five years The Library Foundation has raised $225,000.
The library will secure more grants; many will focus on specific programs while others will be for major capital projects. The latter will utilize both the development director and the Berkeley County grant administrator. Due to the nature of grants this will be an ongoing process with multiple deadlines.
Supporting Comments: the library has received 2 major grants (Financial & Digital Literacy) totaling $115,000 and several youth grants in excess of $17,000 (Eastern West Virginia Community Foundation (EWVCF), Eco Lab, Young Adult Library Services (YALSA), and El Dia Day.
$50,000 ($10,000 per year) for developing informational materials and to disseminate these materials using all communication outlets.
2. Serve All Areas of the Community
By 2017 the library will determine through census data and surveys the areas of the community which are underserved. Once this is determined the library will look for ways to provide service to these segments of the population.
Build partnerships and collaborate with community organizations whose missions also serves the determined underserved.
Comment from survey: “My child and I come to the library frequently. This community relies on its services. They have wonderful programs for children, and cultural speakers for adults. And a comic con!! The library is an invaluable resource to our community. The town would be barren without it.”
By 2019 the library and library foundation will raise $200,000 to complete phase 1 of the remodel of the upstairs of Hedgesville Public Library.
By 2017 architectural drawings for a new North Berkeley public library will be done.
By 2020 secure a Bookmobile for the southwest section of Berkeley County.
By 2017 explore options for additional parking for library patrons, collaborate with City Officials and residents, select best option, and provide additional parking.
Results from survey: over 20% of the respondents said parking prevents them from visiting the library
Comment from Survey: ‘The "perfect" library is open from 7:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. It has new technology and staff to assist all patrons. It has unlimited free parking.”
$100,000 ($20,000 per year) includes the personnel, transportation, and materials needed to start and run these services.
$200,000 to complete Phase I of the second floor of Hedgesville Public Library.
$100,000 to secure architectural drawings based on community surveys, Board of Trustees, staff and Friends’ input for North Berkeley Library.
$250,000 for a Bookmobile.
$350,000 for parking (estimated based on purchase of land)
3. Serve Community Interests
Continue adopting new technologies, increasing access to resources that address 21st- century literacies (technology, finances, health, and adult literacy). This is ongoing, and will be fulfilled by enacting our technology plan. (see attachment a)
Supporting Comment: In an article from ALA magazine dated February 26, 2014 Titled “Making Room for Informal learning” The maker movement and maker-spaces have swept the country and grown in numbers in libraries in recent years, as communities and libraries work to support science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics education by offering spaces and equipment where users can learn as they create.
By 2016, increase employment readiness programs, emphasizing basic skills for job searches, applications, resumes and email by 20%.
Supporting Comment: Over the last five years the library has provided job search workshops, created a separate area for job searching and offers one-on-one help. The library has successfully helped people find and keep jobs, and held job fairs for local businesses.
Expand hours of operation based on each community’s needs. This may include evening hours and Sunday hours. These needs will be determined by yearly surveys, open forums and monitoring library usage and attendance. This will begin in May 2016 and be assessed yearly.
Comment from Survey: “I work late and I cannot make it to any library program before 7 PM. I would use the library more if you were opened in the evenings later. “
(1) Making Room for Informal Learning Librarians Discuss the Future of Maker-spaces, by Greg Landgraf | February 26, 2014
$10,000 per year to adopt new technologies and increase access.
Additional $15,000 to enact technology plan.
Utilizing our current partners and community members, this will be completed at no or minimal cost to the library.
$25,000 per year for the main library to open an additional day; $15,000 per year for a branch library to open an additional day.
4. Sustain and Attract Quality Personnel
By 2017, realign staff roles based on ability, education, and strengths.
By 2018, assess and determine salaries and benefits that are comparable to other regional library staff salaries.
Results from Survey: What was most important to our staff was the customer service we give every patron, and with an overwhelming percentage (80%) of the staff feels that we are giving acceptable to outstanding customer service to our patrons.
5. Some Final Comments From Our Discussions Are:
“The perfect library partners with all aspects of the community (business, non-profits, individuals, students, etc.) to serve their individual needs.”
“The library already does so many great things for the community, I love that there are community events like movie night and Lego night. I would love to see more events geared toward our middle school and high school students, drawing them in to mentor or work with younger children for special projects. You could also partner them with seniors for special programs or projects. I would like to see a night like they do at the museums, where you can sleep over with your parent and to a project/movie event with a theme, encouraging youth to read or trigger an interest.”
“The perfect library would be full of past books, publications, and artifacts, as well as, up to date resources that are used in the modern world and programs for adults and youth. It would also be staff with knowledgeable and well trained employees that would be able to deliver these resources / programs to the local community in which the library resides.”
And finally as one member of a discussion group stated a perfect library is “A place where someone feels a part of the story. A community hub that blurs demographic and class lines and provides access to the world’s knowledge. A place to learn, participate and meet. Imagine a comfortable coffee shop. One that makes books and others sources of knowledge feel as comforting and addicting as a great espresso.”
Our Thanks Go To:
Martinsburg-Berkeley County Public Libraries Board of Trustees,
President: Sally Jackson
Vice-President: John Douglas Miller
Treasurer: Steve Cox
Secretary: Sara Douglass
Member: Kris Carr
Strategic Planning team:
Trina Bartlett (facilitator)
* Attachment A
Martinsburg-Berkeley County Service Center
Martinsburg, WV 25401
From: July 1, 2015 to: June 30, 2018
Mission Statement: What is the mission statement for this library?
The mission of the Martinsburg-Berkeley County Service Center is to provide an open and non-judgmental environment in which individuals may freely avail themselves of the widest possible variety of ideas, information and opinions in a wide variety of formats.
This service center has 9 libraries, 1 with fiber and the other 8 with T-1 lines through WV Net; 3 libraries with additional access supplementing the existing lines using cable and/or DSL.
There are 83 computers at the Martinsburg Public Library and its branches; this does not include the 4 Workforce computers nor the 10 of which are provided by the Blue Ridge Community and Technical College. The affiliates are as follows:
Bolivar-Harpers Ferry 19 computers
South Jefferson 16 computers
Shepherdstown 10 computers
Morgan County 14 computers
Paw Paw 12 computers
All the affiliate libraries have included the Workforce computers.
1. What is the desired future level of technology in this library?
2. What specific hardware and software, telecommunications, and information technologies (such as access to the Internet, remote databases, distance learning, web-based catalogs, reference services, etc) are you planning to acquire and implement? (Your System Coordinator or consultant may have checklists or other materials to assist in responding to this question.)
Timeline: What are the planned dates to implement this desired future level of technology in this library?
List the approximate dates when you expect to reach important milestones in your technology implementation.
One of our main goals is provide the public with relevant, essential and reviewed electronic and educational resources in every library. We will increase the quantity and the quality of the public access computers with no limitations on usage or functionality by the year 2018 and continue to add computers over the next 3 years. We will maintain and increase the number of wireless laptops. We will provide our patrons with Wi-Fi accessible devices to check out by the end of 2017. We will continue to add more downloadable material such as periodicals, videos, music, audio and e-books to circulate throughout our service center each and every year. To this end, we will be reviewing and evaluating existing digital resource vendors and their platforms for content and ease of use for our patrons by 2016. We will then select the best options for our patrons.
Our second goal would be not only to continue to train staff and patrons on how to use these resources but also to utilize our computer support team in a more efficient and effective manner. We will make available an online help desk during business hours for staff and patrons to answer questions, problems, and concerns by the year 2017.
Our third goal is to increase the number of e-readers, laptops, tables and other mobile devices for both staff and public over the next three years.
Our fourth goal is to provide the latest technology for our patrons and staff, including but not limited to 3-D printers, interactive white boards, video conferencing, etc. This is accomplished on a year-to-year basis, determined by the advances and usage of the latest technology.
Our fifth goal is to provide patrons access to self-check-out computers and the ability to schedule meetings, sign-up for programs, review materials, etc.
In order to accommodate these goals we will have to focus on present and future information technologies, software geared towards website functionality, app driven programs and the security to maintain public access without failure.
1. What are the approximate costs of this desired future level of technology?
2 How does the library plan to secure the necessary funds for each technology component, i.e., what are the sources for these funds?
These goals will require a budget of $75,000 for computer replacement, upgrades and peripherals. In addition, our electronic and digital materials budgets will be $50,000. This is based on research, testing, and expectations. Affiliates would be responsible for $1,500.00/year over the next 3 years. This money is included in our regular budget which is determined by local law and per capita income from the state.
Education and Training:
What are this library’s plans to accomplish the training necessary for staff and patrons to use the desired technology effectively?
What types and sources of training will this library participate in?
We will continue to make available staff and patron training using the expertise of our existing computer support team and other knowledgeable staff. Training will be held once a month at every library, online courses available 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week, online tutorials and manuals for download, and video teleconferences for affiliates by 2016.
Technology Integration: How will this library integrate the use of these technologies into the services it provides for its users?
These technologies would allow libraries to complement existing services and keep up with the fast growth of population and education of all patrons and staff. Greater advertising and marketing using online sources as well as the traditional print and media, will inform our community. By enabling patrons to access our services, programs and information using mobile devices, they will have greater and easier access to the library. We will be able to allow training at any time for the staff and patrons, offer immediate response to problems and questions during business hours, and offer up-to-date information on all services offered by all libraries in the service center area.
1. How will this library evaluate the success of this plan?
2. How will you determine if the technology plan was successful in meeting the goals of your institutional plans?
3. How frequently will you update the plan?
By 2018, our main evaluation process will use online surveys, RSS feeds, and social media. To enhance the evaluation, a list of goals, updated monthly, with status and progress reports will be view-able from our website.
This Technology Plan has been reviewed and submitted on behalf of this library.