Strategic Plan

More than ever in today’s society, public libraries are central to citizens’ lives and livelihoods.  According to a December 2011 Pew Research Center poll, “almost seven in ten Americans (69%) say that public libraries are important to them and their family.”  Moreover, “those who have library cards and think well of the library’s role in their lives stand out in several ways from others.  For starters, they are more likely to say their own quality of life is good or excellent.”

In light of this data it is not surprising that public library usage is at an all-time high (“Public Libraries,” 2010).  A remarkably wide variety of targeted groups benefit from public library service -- many are continuing to struggle with economic challenges.  Were you to walk through the library’s front door right now, you would be likely to see 30-40 citizens working away at the public computers, applying for jobs, doing homework, making travel plans, or applying for all manner of government services that can only be handled electronically.  On a Sunday afternoon you might come across an author’s book signing and an exhibit of a local artist’s work.  If it is summertime, you will be surrounded by dozens of children attending cultural programs, checking out books and DVDs, and reporting their reading activities to staff in order to win prizes.  During the school year teens and ‘tweens are gathering in library meeting rooms and around computers to work on group projects and homework assignments.  They are sitting side by side with the college students of all ages who are taking classes online and completing assignments and papers.

Unfortunately, Georgia’s public libraries, indeed public libraries across the country, have suffered significant reductions in funding and workforce over the last three years.  Repeatedly asked to “do more with less,” West Georgia Regional Library is at a crisis point where only the most basic services can be provided.  Following a 50% reduction in professional staff during the last two years, library functions such as computer classes, cultural programming, technological support, professional reference service, and school service are minimal or gone.  Similar cutbacks in clerical and support staff have forced five West Georgia Regional Library branches to reduce hours and cut circulation services dramatically.

The library system would like to turn this harsh situation into an opportunity by strategically aligning itself more closely with community needs and priorities in order to make the most efficient and meaningful use of the limited resources that now remain.  In order to achieve this goal, the library is conducting a formal strategic planning process which will serve to clarify the overall purpose and desired results of the library system, and will determine how those results can be achieved.  The strategic plan, in other words, will provide a road map to the future during this time of limited funding and profound transformation.

More specifically, the strategic goals and initiatives defined by the planning process will guide library staff in decisions about how to allocate resources in order to deliver the highest possible quality services to the community.  Ideally, the library’s role in the community will be so clearly defined that library administrators and trustees will have, on hand and in mind, a set of clear and usable data required to make thoughtful and clearly mandated requests for budget growth.

To facilitate the proposed planning process, the library system has engaged Dr. Robert Burgin, a highly regarded library strategic planning consultant, to help us examine current, anticipated, and possible future community needs, and then determine which of those needs we can address.  This method of library planning is outlined in Sandra Nelson’s book Strategic Planning for Results based on a set of 18 service responses a public library might offer its community.  The Public Library Association (PLA) created this list of possible services in 1987; they’ve been updated and revised several times, most recently in 2007.

The West Georgia Regional Library Strategic Plan is being funded by a generous grant from the Community Foundation of West Georgia.
Fourteen diverse West Georgia-area leaders and representatives make up the West Georgia Regional Library Strategic Planning Community Team.  The Community Team acts as a sounding board for ideas and strategies developed as the Library engages the public and its staff during the 6-month process to develop a strategic plan to guide its future growth and services through 2018.
The Community Team Members are:
  • Sarah Marie Burley – Sarah Burley is a Haralson County resident and an active leader of the West Georgia home school community.  Born in London, England, Burley has been employed in a variety of fields in California, Florida, and Georgia, having lived in the U.S. since 1990.  She and her husband, Alex, have one daughter, Selah, age 9.
  • Robin Moore Collins - Robin Collins, President of the League of Women Voters of Carrollton-Carroll County, is a very active volunteer and a staunch supporter of the public library.  A four-time graduate of University of West Georgia, Collins has been involved as an alumnus, and is also a Master Gardener, has been a long-time participant in local theater, and is a dedicated dog lover.  Married for 35 years, Robin and her husband Jim have two grown sons who both live in Georgia.
  • Roberto De Jesus – Roberto De Jesus works as an Edward Jones Financial Advisor in Paulding County, and has lived In Seven Hills since 2008.  De Jesus is originally from Puerto Rico and earned a BS degree from University of Colorado.  He and his wife, Kristin, have a daughter, Isabella.
  • Frank X. Ellis – Frank Ellis has been a resident of Douglas County since 1978, having retired from the Newspapers of West Georgia in 2006.  He is a member of The Friends of the Buchanan-Haralson Public Library, and has been involved with many civic organizations.  Ellis was named Douglas County Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year in 1983 and is a member of St Theresa Roman Catholic Church.
  • E. Lorene Flanders - Lorene Flanders serves as Professor and Dean of Libraries at the University of West Georgia.  She began her career in 1980 with Cobb County Public Library System, and holds degrees from Wesleyan College, University of South Carolina, and Georgia College.  She is an active leader in local, state and national library organizations, and lives in Carrollton with her husband, Paul Campbell, and their two children Hart and Jordan.
  • Thomas P. Glanton – Tom Glanton is a small business professional and entrepreneur who has served as CEO and general partner of several business entities.  His community service includes terms on the Paulding County Library Board of Trustees, Planning and Zoning Board, and Economic Development Steering Committee, as well as Dallas First Methodist Church Parish Relations, Council of Stewards, and Stephen Ministry Board of               Directors.  Glanton was a Founding Director of The Bank of Newnan, a member of the Georgia House of Representatives, and a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force.  He lives in Dallas and has degrees from Georgia Institute of Technology and Auburn University.
  • Jackie Bagwell Pate – Jackie Pate lives near Whitesburg and is retired from Delta Air Lines where she was General Manager of Corporate Communications.  She serves on the Community Foundation of West Georgia Board, the Carrollton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau Board and the Friends of the Whitesburg Public Library Board.
  • Terry Miller – Terry Miller was born and raised in Beaver Falls, PA, and holds degrees from the University of Pittsburgh and Syracuse University.  He has been a licensed architect since 1996 and has had his own firm since 2005 in downtown Douglasville.  Miller, his wife Denise, and their two children have lived in Georgia since 1997.  He served on the Douglasville City Council from 2007 through 2011.
  • Jennifer Parks – Jennifer Parks is a Franklin native with very active teenage twins.  She is deeply involved in their school activities, as well as pursuing continuing  education.
  • Jolaine Sims – Jolaine Sims is recently retired after serving as a public school Media Specialist for 27 years.  She has been a member of the Haralson County and West Georgia Regional Library Boards of Trustees, and holds degrees from Auburn University and University of West Georgia.  Sims is married, has one son, and attends First Baptist Church in Buchanan.
  • Glovis South – Glovis South began a career in journalism in 1980, working in a variety of capacities for several regional newspapers, and in 1993 started a second career as a Heard County Media Specialist.  She is an award-winning grant writer, fiction writer, and editor, and holds degrees from the University of West Georgia.  South and her husband Richard have two children.
  • Wes Tallon – Wes Tallon is Director of Communications and Community Relations for Douglas County, and is a former Board Member and Chairman of the Douglas County and West Georgia Regional Library Boards of Trustees.  A lifetime library supporter, Tallon started by becoming his Church’s librarian at the age of 14 and has continued through the opening of the new Dog River Library in November 2011.  He currently is assisting in the formation of Friends of the Library groups for the Libraries of Douglas County.
  • Thomas Upchurch - Tom Upchurch has distinguished himself as one of Georgia’s leaders in education reform, starting as a classroom teacher and later becoming principal and superintendent of Carrollton City Schools.  As president of the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education through the l990’s, Upchurch inaugurated the Bus Trip Across Georgia, to allow business, government and education leaders to see first hand the excellence in Georgia public schools.  He has chaired or served on a multitude of panels, committees, study commissions and advisory boards charged with building excellence into the state’s school systems and close achievement gaps.  Upchurch has been instrumental in establishing the Community Foundation of West Georgia and continues teaching and consulting for the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education.
  • Jane Wilson – Jane Wilson is a former administrator with Bremen City Schools, and has served on the Bremen City Council for 6 years.  She is a former member of the Board of Trustees for Warren Sewell Memorial Library of Bremen.  Wilson grew up in Newnan, Georgia, and has lived in Bremen for 40+ years.  She received degrees from University of West Georgia and Mercer University.
 
 

Connecting the Community Through Your Library... A Path to the Future A Five Year Plan July 2013-June 2018

Activities in RED have been completed.

Goal 1: All persons in the communities served by the West Georgia Regional Library System will have free access to quality materials in a variety of formats for their entertainment.

Objective 1.1: Each year of the strategic plan, the number of active patrons will increase by 2%.

Activity 1.1.a: The library will improve the visibility of all library facilities by providing adequate signage directing patrons to the library.

Activity 1.1.b: All libraries will participate in National Library Card Signup Month in September by promoting library usage at remote locations (i.e., PTO meetings, local restaurants, shopping centers.)

Objective 1.2: Each year of the strategic plan, the circulation of items in the library system’s collections will increase by 2%.

Activity 1.2.a: The West Georgia Regional Library will design and institute an Adopt-a-Book Program by the end of year 2.

Activity 1.2.b: The West Georgia Regional Library will appoint an ad hoc committee to design an organized weeding plan to include a “Weeding Section of the Month” program.

Activity 1.2.c: All staff will be made aware of PINES reports available for weeding purposes.

Activity 1.2.d: Each library will develop at least three themed displays of items from the library collection each year.

Activity 1.2.e: Libraries will provide displays of appropriate materials for checkout at each library program, as specified on individual Program Development Forms.

Objective 1.3: Each year of the plan, the West Georgia Regional Library System will increase the number of ways in which library users can provide input into the selection process.

Activity 1.3.a:  Patrons will have the ability to suggest items for purchase through the library system’s Adopt-a-Book Program.

Activity 1.3.b: A “Materials Suggestion” feature will be added to the library’s website.

Activity 1.3.c:  The library will create suggestion boxes for each branch with color coded forms for areas such as Customer Service and Material Suggestion.

Activity 1.3.d:  Brief survey templates will be developed to query patrons about their satisfaction level with the library collection.

Activity 1.3.e:  Community focus group members will be solicited via patron surveys and school media specialists, and formed to acquire input from various facets of the community about the needs of the library collection at each facility.

Activity 1.3.f: A young adult focus group will be formed and managed via Facebook.

Objective 1.4: On the WGRL tri-annual survey, at least 90% of the respondents will rate the library as very good or excellent in providing materials for their entertainment.

Objective 1.5: Each year of the plan, the West Georgia Regional Library will increase its acquisition of new materials by 2%.

Activity 1.5.a: More library staff throughout the region will be involved in the cataloging and processing of new materials.

Goal 2: All persons in the communities served by the West Georgia Regional Library System will receive guidance by trained library staff in finding and selecting library materials for their entertainment.

Objective 2.1: By the end of plan year 1, a team of staff will be in place as the West Georgia Regional Library Readers’ Advisory Team.

Objective 2.2: Each year of the plan, all regional staff will take part in at least one readers’ advisory workshop.

Activity 2.2.a: The library will commit a portion of Year 1’s Annual Staff Development Day to readers’ advisory workshops.

Activity 2.2.b: The library will encourage attendance at Readers Advisory webinars by the creation and regular distribution of a list of available webinars.

Objective 2.3: Each year of the plan, the West Georgia Regional Library System will create at least 10 readers’ advisory tools to share throughout the system.

Activity 2.3.a:  The Reader’s Advisory Team will create “Hot Lists,” highlighting materials on a particular subject or in a specific genre, and these will be made available through the staff wiki for printing and distribution.

Activity 2.3.b:  Library staff will share ideas for displays of library materials on various subjects via a Pinterest board that will be created to allow regional staff to explore and attach ideas.

Activity 2.3.c:  All libraries in the system will have a “staff picks” display in the library and on social media at least once a year, highlighting staff members’ favorite books.

Activity 2.3.d:  The American Library Association’s READ software will be purchased and made available for all WGRL libraries to create posters, for hanging in the library and around the community, of different people and groups in the community sharing their love of reading.

Activity 2.3.e:  The library staff will provide readers’ advisory tools and workshops for patrons and will involve patrons more in the creation of readers’ advisory tools.

Objective 2.4: By year 2 of the plan, the West Georgia Regional Library System will have a dedicated section of its website to help people find and select materials for their entertainment.

Activity 2.4.a: The Readers’ Advisory Team will facilitate the input of information into the library’s website that will assist patrons in finding materials for their entertainment.

Activity 2.4.b: Readers’ Advisory information and booklists will be shared through social media outlets.

Objective 2.5: On the tri-annual WGRL survey, at least 90% of the respondents will rate the library’s ability to help them find and select library materials for their entertainment as very good or excellent.

Activity 2.5.a:  By the end of year 2, courier deliveries will be increased to at least three days a week to all libraries in the system.

Invest in the Future … Grow Young Readers

Goal 3: Children ages 0 to 12 in the communities served by the West Georgia Regional Library System will become excited about reading and will see the library as a fun place.

 Objective 3.1: Each year of the strategic plan, the number of programs offered for children will increase by 2%.

 Activity 3.1.a: The Children’s Services Council will work to increase resource-sharing among its members.

 Activity 3.1.b: The library will ensure that all children’s staff are aware of and attend at least one Georgia children’s services workshop each year.

 Activity 3.1.c: Libraries will establish publicity partnerships with departments of parks and recreation, schools, and daycare centers in the service area.

 Activity 3.1.d: Libraries will increase storytime visits to daycare centers.

 Objective 3.2: Each year of the strategic plan, the circulation of children’s materials will increase by 2%.

Activity 3.2.a: Each library will create special displays throughout the year.

Activity 3.2.b: Libraries will provide displays of appropriate materials for checkout at each library program, as specified on individual Program Development Forms.

Activity 3.2.c: Branch Managers will include children’s staff in book selection and purchasing.

Activity 3.2.d: The library will make vendor catalogs readily accessible to branch staff.

Objective 3.3: Each year of the strategic plan, the number of children participating in the Summer Reading Program will increase by 2%.

 Activity 3.3.a: The library will strengthen relationships with local schools.

 Activity 3.3.b: The Children’s Services Council will identify additional marketing methods for Summer Reading Club.

 Activity 3.3.c: Libraries will add evening and weekend children’s programs.

Objective 3.4: By year 2 of the strategic plan, every branch of the West Georgia Regional Library System will offer at least one regularly scheduled children’s program per month in the library.

 Activity 3.4.a: The Children’s Services Council will update and make available on the wiki storytime kits for branch use.

 Activity 3.4.b: The Children’s Services Council will develop a collection of “Storytime in a Box” kits and make these accessible to staff.

 Activity 3.4.c: The library will offer storytime training for staff.

Objective 3.5: By year 2 of the strategic plan, every branch of the West Georgia Regional Library System will provide at least one children’s outreach program per quarter.

 Activity 3.5.a: Library staff will visit schools in their service areas at the start of each school year to develop program partnerships.

 Activity 3.5.b: Libraries will participate in local festivals with programs and information.

Objective 3.6: By year 3 of the strategic plan, the West Georgia Regional Library will have on staff a Children’s Services Coordinator for the region.

Objective 3.7: Each year of the plan, the West Georgia Regional Library will increase its acquisition of new children’s materials by 2%.

Goal 4: Parents and caregivers of children ages 0 to 12 in the communities served by the West Georgia Regional Library System will have access to the tools and skills needed to grow young readers.

Objective 4.1: By year 2 of the strategic plan, every branch of the West Georgia Regional Library system will actively participate in the state of Georgia’s “1,000 Books Before Kindergarten” initiative.

Activity 4.1.a: Libraries will promote and distribute GPLS materials.

Activity 4.1.b: Libraries will have ready access on the wiki to age-appropriate booklists to aid in the selection of pre-school materials for patrons.

Objective 4.2: Each year of the strategic plan, every branch of the West Georgia Regional Library System will offer at least one early literacy educational activity in the library for parents and caregivers.

 Activity 4.2.a: The library will seek grant funding for early literacy training.

 Activity 4.2.b: The library will market educational programs to daycares, Headstarts, churches, homeschool groups, and recreation departments.

 Activity 4.2.c: The Children’s Services Council will produce and make accessible on the wiki a standard parent early literacy educational program.

Objective 4.3: Each year of the strategic plan, every branch of the West Georgia Regional Library System will offer at least one early literacy outreach activity for parents and caregivers.

Activity 4.3.a: Libraries will identify at-risk parent groups in the service area.

Activity 4.3.b: Libraries will partner with schools to offer programs for parents in conjunction with existing school sponsored family activities.

Activity 4.3.c: Library branches in each county will collaborate to provide a coordinated county-wide family early literacy event every year.

Objective 4.4: Each year of the strategic plan, at least quarterly, every branch of the West Georgia Regional Library System will provide take-home educational tools for parents and caregivers who attend story times.

Activity 4.4.a: The Children’s Services Council will develop a standard template for the creation of storytime enrichment handouts.

Objective 4.5: By year 2 of the plan, the West Georgia Regional Library System will have a dedicated children’s section on its website.

Activity 4.5.a: A sub-group of the Children’s Services Council will serve as an advisory group for the design and upkeep of the children’s section.

Activity 4.5.b: Children’s staff will provide downloadable lists, calendars, and children’s events for the children’s section.

Access to the Online World

Goal 5: All persons in the communities served by the West Georgia Regional Library System will have free access to the online world.

Objective 5.1: Each year of the plan, the number of computer classes and the number of one-on-one help sessions in the library will increase by 2%.

Activity 5.1.a: The library will add a “Computer Assistance” category to the standard Reference Statistics Form used by all branches.

Activity 5.1.b: The library will continue to solicit volunteer computer teachers and aides from the community.

Activity 5.1.c: By the end of year 4, the library will have on staff a training coordinator.

Objective 5.2: Each year of the plan, the number of computer users in the West Georgia Regional Library System will increase by 2%.

Activity 5.2.a: The library will increase awareness of public wireless and computer availability via PR and community organizations.

Activity 5.2.b: The library will explore funding options to provide additional public access computers as needed.

Objective 5.3: By the end of year 5, the West Georgia Regional Library System will ensure that none of its public use computers are more than 5 years old.

Activity 5.3.a: The library will provide in-house training in the writing and submittal of grants for computer equipment.

Activity 5.3.b: The library will conduct an advocacy campaign with state and local funding agencies to raise awareness of the intense use of and need for computers.

Activity 5.3.c: The library will make available a complete and up-to-date computer inventory.

Objective 5.4: By the end of year 1 of the plan, the library will be able to count Wi-Fi users in its branch libraries.

Activity 5.4.a: The library will determine how best to capture the Wi-Fi statistic

Objective 5.5: By year 3 of the plan, Wi-Fi will be available at all branches of the West Georgia Regional Library System

Activity 5.5.a: The library will include a wireless service requirement in its needs proposal for an electronic service broker.

Activity 5.5.b: The library will explore funding options.

Objective 5.6: By year 2 of the plan, the West Georgia Regional Library System will have local control of its Internet Service Provider.

Activity 5.6.a: The library will work with an electronic services broker to determine the best service for its needs.

Satisfy Curiosity … Lifelong Learning

Goal 6: Everyone in the communities served by the West Georgia Regional Library System will have the resources they need to explore topics of personal interest and to continue to learn throughout their lives.

Objective 6.1: Each year of the plan, the circulation of nonfiction items in the library system’s collections will increase by 2%.

Activity 6.1.a: Libraries will increase topic-specific displays throughout the year.

Activity 6.1.b: Libraries will make non-fiction collections more accessible and appealing with better signage, a weeding plan, a shelfreading plan, and more inviting arrangement of materials.

Activity 6.1.c: Patrons will be encouraged to submit suggestions via a suggestion box for each library with color coded forms and patron input surveys.

Activity 6.1.d: Libraries will provide displays of appropriate materials for checkout at each library program, as specified on individual Program Development Forms.

Activity 6.1.e: The library will encourage staff participation in the materials ordering process according to interest and knowledge.

Activity 6.1.f: Libraries will be proactive about obtaining PINES Dewey Decimal range reports for the purpose of identifying specific areas of need in the collection.

Objective 6.2: Each year of the plan, the number of adult programs offered by the library system will increase by 2%.

Activity 6.2.a: The library will hold quarterly Adult Programming Idea Exchange sessions as the staff development portion of four branch meetings (all adult programming staff will be invited to attend as possible).

Activity 6.2.b: Libraries will offer post-program evaluations at every program that will include requests and suggestions for future program topics.

Activity 6.2.c: The library will encourage community participation in library programming.

Activity 6.2.d: Libraries will actively focus programming efforts on patron input and requests.

Activity 6.2.e: The library will improve program marketing efforts by encouraging staff to attend free library marketing webinars.

Activity 6.2.f: The library will improve program marketing by making the website more user-friendly via a staff advisory group.

Activity 6.2.g: The library will create a cohesive set of WGRL marketing templates and tools to be used by branches for program marketing.

Activity 6.2.h: The library will create a standard Program Development Form for staff to use in preparation for library programs.

Objective 6.3: Each year of the plan, the use of the GALILEO databases by users of the West Georgia Regional Library System will increase by 2%.

Activity 6.3.a: The library will offer and encourage staff training on GALILEO databases.

Activity 6.3.b: The library will increase the presence of GALILEO with proactive database marketing and accessible tutorials on the WGRL website.

Activity 6.3.c: The library will provide database-specific classes for the community.

Activity 6.3.d: The library will create topic-specific brochures and bookmarks, in-house or vendor produced, for patron assistance.

Discover Your Library … Explore and Evaluate a World of Information

Goal 7: Everyone in the communities served by the West Georgia Regional Library System will have access to the tools, services, and resources needed to find, evaluate, and use information effectively.

Objective 7.1: Each year of the plan, every branch of the West Georgia Regional Library System will offer at least one program on finding, evaluating, and using information.

Activity 7.1.a: The library will develop a user-friendly regional curriculum for volunteers, to be accessed on the staff wiki and to include, at minimum, the following topics:

OPAC

Google pros and cons

How to use your library

Activity 7.1.b: The library will develop a regional team of trainers, via a staff interest survey, that can be called upon to teach classes throughout the system.

Activity 7.1.c: The library will develop a “Website of the Month” feature to run on the WGRL site.

Objective 7.2: Each year of the plan, every branch of the West Georgia Regional Library System will offer at least one program on use of the GALILEO databases.

Activity 7.2.a: The library will develop a user-friendly regional curriculum for GALILEO database training, to be accessed on the staff wiki.

Activity 7.2.b: The library will develop a regional team of trainers, via a staff interest survey, that can be called upon to teach classes throughout the system.

Activity 7.2.c: The library will subscribe to GALILEO newsletter or marketing.

Activity 7.2.d: The library will develop a one page “What is GALILEO” handout for patrons to provide a basic introduction to GALILEO and let the public know why they might like to make use of this library service.

Objective 7.3: Each year of the plan, the number of reference questions asked by users of the West Georgia Regional Library System will increase by 2%.

Activity 7.3.a: The library will standardize the counting of branch reference statistics, using the first year as a baseline for growth, by creating a Statistics Form to include Reference Questions, Directional Questions, Computer Assistance, Phone Questions, and Email Questions, and also by making clear the definition of reference questions vs. directional questions.

Activity 7.3.b: The library will make more prominent the “Ask a Librarian” website link and rotate questions received among a pool of library reference staff.

Activity 7.3.c: The library will produce a monthly “Ask a Librarian” column to run in the Newspapers of West Georgia, written on a rotating basis by all library branches.

Activity 7.3.d: Libraries will create displays and brochures designed to spur requests for additional information.

Activity 7.3.e: The library will solicit “Share Your Knowledge” programs from the community on the website and on bookmarks in the libraries.

Objective 7.4: Each year of the plan, the patron count at the West Georgia Regional Library System will increase by 2%.

Activity 7.4.a: The library will seek grant funding to create a series of professional mobile display kits for use by all branches when visiting community organizations, expos, and festivals on the topics of small business, employment, medicine, drug awareness, children, and more.

Activity 7.4.b: Each library will celebrate National Library Week and Library Card Signup Month.

Activity 7.4.c: Library staff will participate in community events.

Activity 7.4.d: The library will increase its media presence.

Objective 7.5: Each year of the plan, all regional staff will take part in at least one workshop on helping library users find and evaluate information.

Activity 7.5.a: The library will conduct an annual Staff Development Day for all library staff.

Activity 7.5.b: The library will make available to staff online classes and webinars.

Activity 7.5.c: The library will offer one face-to-face class each year, conducted in multiple sessions to allow full staff attendance.

Activity 7.5.d: The library will investigate and use technology to offer live regional electronic training sessions.

Provide a Comfortable, Welcoming Environment

Goal 8: Everyone in the communities served by the West Georgia Regional Library System will feel welcome in their interactions with the library.

Objective 8.1: Each year of the plan, all regional staff will take part in at least one customer service workshop.

Activity 8.1.a: The library will include a customer service component each year in the Staff Development Day.

Activity 8.1.b: The library will provide a “train the trainer” workshop for at least one branch manager meeting per year, and branch managers will designate other staff to attend if they cannot do the training themselves.

Activity 8.1.c: The library will make accessible information about Customer Service Webinars, and each staff member will attend at least one per year.

Activity 8.1.d: The library will include a staff awards component in each annual Staff Development Day.

Objective 8.2: Each year of the plan, the West Georgia Regional Library System will increase the number of ways in which library users can provide feedback on the library’s customer service.

Activity 8.2.a: Brief survey templates will be developed to query patrons about their satisfaction level with library customer service.

Activity 8.2.b: The library will create suggestion boxes for each branch with color coded forms for areas such as Customer Service and Material Suggestion.

Objective 8.3: On the tri-annual WGRL survey, at least 90% of the respondents will rate the library’s customer service as very good or excellent.

Activity 8.3.a: The library will conduct a formal region-wide survey online and in paper every three years.

Activity 8.3.b: Each library will identify one computer that will be clearly marked as the survey computer for patron use.

Objective 8.4: Each library will conduct quarterly walk-through facility evaluations.

Activity 8.4.a: The library will create a facility evaluation checklist and include it in the WGRL Procedure Manual.

Activity 8.4.b: Each branch manager will respond proactively to facility problems by taking care of the problem or soliciting help from library friends or local clubs and civic organizations to fix the problem.

Activity 8.4.c: On Branch Meeting dates, each branch will have the opportunity to solicit fresh input from other WGRL managers by asking them to complete the facility evaluation checklist for their host facility.

Objective 8.5: Employee job satisfaction will improve by 2% annually.

Activity 8.5.a: The library will conduct an annual blind online job satisfaction survey across the system.

Activity 8.5.b: The library will create a rotating staff customer service team to analyze survey results each year and make recommendations for improvement.

Activity 8.5.c: The library will create a WGRL online staff directory with photos.

Activity 8.5.d: The library system will hold a staff picnic/fun day each summer.

Activity 8.5.e: Intra and Inter-branch communication among libraries will be improved.

Activity 8.5.f: The library will post on its website each month a “Meet the Staff” feature, highlighting a different library staff member each time.

Activity 8.5.g: Every quarter, the library will highlight on its website a specific achievement by a staff member or group of staff members.

Objective 8.6: On an annual young adult survey, at least 90% of young adult respondents will rate the library’s environment as very good or excellent.

Activity 8.6.a: Each library will designate a young adult-friendly area.

Activity 8.6.b: The library will establish a young adult advisory committee in each branch to provide input on young adult library services.

Activity 8.6.c: The library will create a dedicated young adult section on the library website.

Activity 8.6.d: Each library will offer a young adult summer reading club.

Activity 8.6.e: Libraries will solicit young adult volunteers wherever possible.

Objective 8.7: By year 2 of the strategic plan, the library will have on the regional staff a marketing professional.

Objective 8.8: The library system will increase its funding to better enable it to meet the goals and objectives of this plan.

Activity 8.8.a: The libraries will increase the political involvement of their Friends of the Library groups.

Activity 8.8.b: The library system will increase its grassroots support among the citizens of the counties served by the library system.

Activity 8.8.c: The library staff will increase its efforts to educate local politicians and community leaders.

Activity 8.8.d: The library system will create a library advocacy committee.

July 2013 - June 2018

Approximately 2,200 residents of the West Georgia region shared their thoughts and opinions about services at the 17 branches of the West Georgia Regional Library System through a community survey conducted as part of its strategic planning process. In the survey, people were asked everything from what resources they valued most to what services they’d like to see more of.  The survey was available online and in paper format for four weeks in January and February 2013. The survey was created and conducted by RB Software & Consulting, Inc.

CLICK HERE for Survey Report