Strategic Plan for Helper City Public Library 2017- 2019
Version: HCL021 02
Date: November 7, 2016
Approved: January 26, 2017, Reviewed May 31, 2018
The Mission Statement
The Helper City Library provides a variety of informational, educational, and recreational resources to all the people residing in Helper City and surrounding areas in an atmosphere that encourages individual usage and inspires personal and community enlightenment. The Helper Library cooperates with other libraries and service organizations in providing and promoting programs and other activities that reflect the needs and interests of the community to enhance the quality of life.
Helper is a rural community of around 2,201 people according to the 2010 census. The history of the area reflects a rich history of coal mining, railroading, farming, cattle ranching and a growing population of artists. The population is a mix of older people and young families. Many young adults leave the community for college and jobs in urban areas. The library is located on Main Street in the town auditorium which is an older, historic building built through the WPA program. Directly in front of the library stands Big John, a 15 foot statue of a coal miner. Big John is a common stop for picture taking and he has a Facebook page as well!
Helper’s first librarian was Iola Cobain who inspired readers young and old for over 50 years. She didn’t have a card catalog because she knew all the books and where they were. One just went in and asked for a book.
Helper Library currently services patrons from Helper, Martin, Spring Glen, Kenilworth and visitors to the community. The Carbon County Bookmobile shares space with the Helper Library which has benefited both programs.
Present Level of Performance
The statistics are difficult to compare because of inconsistencies of data collected. This has been an ongoing challenge, with record keeping improved during the calendar year of 2016. Patron visits are now collected via a Library Facts spreadsheet and while still prone to some error reflects more realistic counts than presented previously. The table below reflects the calendar year of 2016.
Jan- June July – Dec 2016 Totals
Community Planning Meeting
A community planning meeting held on October 13, 2016 which was open to the public and library board members to discuss the strategic plan for the library. The objective was to present information regarding the library, discuss the overall direction of Helper City and how the library should focus in conjunction with said direction. Mark Wickman, Library Board Chair, led the meeting.
Using the Library Guide for Strategic Planning, a total of eighteen topics were presented for the community to review and vote for. Each participant was provided five votes across the eighteen topics. The purpose of this exercise was to take the community feedback to the next Library Board meeting for further discussion and implementation for the new strategic plan. This document reflects the new goals to focus on in order to continue to make the library an integral part of the community serving those needs as indicated by the public.
Goal #1: Community Resources and Services. The objective is to be the central source for information about the wide variety of programs, services and activities provided by community agencies and organizations.
1. The library will research and have available locally sourced resources such as the Carbon County Food Bank, Work Force Services among others.
2. The library will offer assistance in completing online forms for either services or job
3. The library will collect brochures and other materials to have ready for public
consumption of these types of services for the other patrons in our community.
Goal #2: Discover Your Roots/Cultural Awareness. Residents and visitors alike with have the resources they need to connect the past with the present through their family histories and to understand the history and traditions of the community. Promote appreciation and understanding of local heritage of the community.
1. The library will ascertain if the collection of local material is complete and robust.
2. The library will also build a display using pre-existing materials showcasing local
activities and attractions for patrons and tourists alike.
3. Research local guides for the area who could take groups on walking tours, hikes and soon near our location.
4. The library will focus on assisting growth of the tourism in our area.
Goal #3: Implement Adult Focused Programming. Define and develop adult focused
programming to encourage library usage among the mature population of our community.
1. The library will research and implement Adult Book Club events.
2. The library will host special events with guest speakers focused on topics such as
finances, health care and online security for mature patrons.
3. The library will provide a comfortable place to engage in community driven
conversations with our adult patrons.
This plan will be reviewed at quarterly board meetings. A written annual review of the Strategic Plan and operating budget will be submitted to the library board. The library board chairperson or appointed person if the chairperson is unavailable will report to Helper City.
The Helper City Public Library continues to evolve and is focused on continuous improvement in regard to both services and programs for the community. Along with the expected ongoing technological improvements we have already experienced, it is imperative to make our next steps about our patrons and increasing growth and interest in the library itself. Leveraging these goals, by becoming a central resource for information about local area programs, growing our local history collection and implementing an adult program will naturally serve as a catalyst for improvement. This, in turn, will build a more vibrant, engaged community for us all.
Helper City Library – Confidential & Proprietary
Approved Date: 01/26/2017
This Plan will be reviewed monthly until agreed standards are reached and then at quarterly Board Meetings. A written annual review of the Strategic Plan and the Operating budget will be submitted to the Library Board. The Library Board Chair or appointed person if the Chair is unavailable will report to Helper City Council.