As a community organization that has been serving Garfield County communities for over 75 years, the Garfield County Public Library District (GCPLD) has a long legacy of providing access to knowledge, resources and services. GCPLD recognizes that in order to serve their communities, they must understand their needs. As a fundamental educational resource supported by tax dollars, GCPLD believes that everyone should be aware of what the library has to offer, and should be informed as new materials and services come along.
In order to achieve a clearer sense of how best to communicate to our users, GCPLD determined that a comprehensive marketing review was needed. Through this review, GCPLD sought to better understand the public’s perceptions of the libraries, and how library users learned about various library programs and services. Additionally, GCPLD recognized that a new strategic vision, mission and values statement were necessary to provide organizational alignment and clarity of message for staff, volunteers and the public. GCPLD knew that in order to reach the majority of residents in the county, it was important to increase the visibility of library services in each of the six library communities and throughout the region.
GCPLD hired JVA Consulting, LLC (JVA) to conduct this review and develop a comprehensive marketing plan. To gather data for the plan, JVA reviewed Garfield County demographics to determine the size and key characteristics of various population segments. JVA also conducted user surveys both online and in person, and facilitated six community meetings to engage with users directly on the topic of community needs and interests, and how the library might address them. Finally, JVA evaluated GCPLD’s existing marketing materials and made recommendations for ways to improve and streamline those efforts. You are invited to read the results of JVA’s work, either the executive summary or the complete 104-page report, both located online at www.gcpld.org. Print copies of each are also available at your local branch library for your review.
Of JVA’s fifteen recommendations, five address user-focused changes such as: making it easier to get a library card; reaching out to underserved and unengaged populations; increasing opportunities for community members to participate in presenting library programs; creating e-newsletters for each branch to promote library materials, programs and services; and limiting the amount of printed materials at desks to reduce “noise.” Three other recommendations address the need to target specific user groups needing assistance, including non-English speakers, users with disabilities and homebound patrons. The final seven recommendations target internal practices that include: focusing on customer service, creating age-group specific programming, building GCPLD’s presence on social media (through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram), optimizing digital content, fostering better relationships with online media, improving promotional signage, and developing a menu of services to help users learn about the full scope of library services.
GCPLD is in the process of phasing in a number of these changes that you will see over the coming months. The first will be a switch from the quarterly district-wide newsletter to a monthly branch-specific email newsletter with information on new books and events your local branch. Ask staff how to sign up. Another change will involve a new, more descriptive calendar that will be available at the front desk of all six libraries.
Our mission is to connect our community to a world of possibilities. We are excited to share those possibilities with you!
Amelia Shelley, Executive Director
The current strategic plan was written by library staff and board members in 2011-2012. This plan sets additional goals for the library district as construction of new libraries is completed. Click here for the 2012-2014 Strategic Goals and Objectives.
In 2007-2008, the Library District developed a strategic plan to guide the district's efforts in 2008-2011. We drew heavily on suggestions and feedback from Garfield County citizens through advisory panels in each of the six communities we serve.
Technology plans are written every three years and are revised regularly to reflect new technologies, facility changes, fiscal changes, and other opportunities. The current plan is based on existing technology, future technological trends and observations, emerging research about learning with technology, and the library's goals and objectives spanning 2012 to 2014. Please click for a copy of the current Technology Plan.