2012-2017 SCPL Strategic Plan
Switzerland County Public Library
January 2013-December 2017
Adopted by the Switzerland County Public Library Board of Trustees January 8, 2013.
In order to support the mission of the Switzerland County Public Library, it is necessary to keep up with the increased demand to deliver the most accurate and up-to-date resources in a variety of formats which meet the needs and expectations of the community. Services should be available in the best possible environment, and staff should be well trained and knowledgeable in order to provide the best possible service to patrons.
The purpose of the Strategic Plan is to have:
- a sense of consistency within the organization.
- a common image of the direction the organization is moving.
- identified, discussed and resolved key issues.
- set priorities for implementation.
- improved communication within the organization.
- a benchmark to measure future performance.
The Switzerland County Public Library will foster a culture of reading and thought by serving Switzerland County’s information, life-long learning and leisure pursuits.
We inspire our community by offering the most up-to-date materials, fresh and unique programming and state of the art technology; continually encouraging patrons to make new discoveries throughout their lives by bringing excitement to learning to help them excel.
We delight in meeting or exceeding patron expectations by providing friendly, courteous, knowledgeable and prompt service, showing respect and valuing all individuals for their diverse backgrounds, experiences and ideas.
We enrich our community by providing a well-maintained, comfortable and safe multi-use facility, where residents can meet, share ideas and be educated, entertained and informed.
We value our staff members and strive to provide a workplace where enthusiasm, teamwork, innovation, accountability and a sense of purpose combine to provide a rewarding experience for both employees and patrons.
We are committed to being a fiscally responsible public institution, consistently seeking the most cost-effective uses of both public and private funds.
Assessment of the community
The Switzerland County Public Library (SCPL) serves all residents of Switzerland County. Switzerland County is a largely rural community located on the Ohio River in the southeastern corner of Indiana. There are two incorporated towns in Switzerland County, Vevay and Patriot. Approximately 1800 people live in these towns. The library is located in Vevay and the closest cities are Cincinnati, Ohio (45 miles) and Louisville, Kentucky (50 miles). According to the 2010 Census, the population of Switzerland County is 10,613, a 17% increase since the 2000 Census. Ivy Tech, a 2-year community college in Madison, Indiana is within a 25 minute drive while the nearest 4 year public institution is a 90 minute commute.
The county encompasses an area of 221 square miles and has two incorporated towns, Vevay (pop. 1588) and Patriot (pop. 188). 98.6% of residents identify themselves as “white” and 1.2% identifies themselves as being Hispanic. The population is predominantly over the age of 45 (42%). Adults ages 25-44 make up the next largest segment of the community (27%), and 17% of the community is of school age (5-17). Switzerland County ranks 75th in the state for those with a Bachelor’s degree or higher (11.1%) and 81.2% of the population has earned a High School diploma or higher. Per capita and median household incomes rank below the state average at $29,017 and $41,837 respectively. Approximately one in every four children live below the poverty rate and 17.3% of all residents are classified as living below the poverty rate.
A YMCA is located in Vevay, as well as an elementary, middle and high school. One other elementary school is located in East Enterprise, in the northeastern part of Switzerland County. The Hoosier Theater provides musical and dramatic entertainment several times throughout the year and Vevay Main Street offers a First Friday event each month. Many agencies which serve Switzerland County such as Workforce One, the Division of Family and Children’s Services, and Vocational Rehabilitation do not have actual offices in the county but meet with clients in the SCPL meeting room. SCPL has one of the few meeting rooms which are available to groups at no cost. The Purdue Extension Service is active in the county, providing educational programs for residents of Switzerland County. There are two physicians, a nurse-managed clinic, and a dentist in Vevay. The nearest hospital is 20 miles away in the town of Madison.
The largest employer in Switzerland County is Belterra Casino and Resort, followed by the Switzerland County School Corporation. There are no large industries in the county, but many residents drive across the Ohio River to work at industrial plants in Kentucky. Most of Switzerland County’s property tax revenue comes from residential and rural taxpayers. In addition to property taxes and riverboat revenue, SCPL has obtained grant funds from the United Way, Vevay-Switzerland County Foundation, and the Community Foundation of Switzerland County. These grants have been used for programming and to update computer equipment. The Switzerland County Council has also been generous in giving SCPL funds for building upgrades such as new carpet and the installation of handicapped accessible doors.
A survey of community members was conducted in August 2011 to determine what the residents of Switzerland County thought about the services the library provides and what they would like to see the library provide. The survey was made available in the library and through the library’s website and facebook page. Although only 37 surveys were returned, the responses were fairly consistent. Respondents visit the library an average of ten times per month, mostly for books and to access the Internet. About half of those returning surveys liked that the library was “quiet” and “relaxing”, but almost as many though the library could use a quiet place for study. An overwhelming number of respondents said the things they liked most about the library were the friendly, helpful staff and the services offered. Specific services mentioned included the children’s area, programs for all ages, the assistance they receive, and the way the library is involved in the community.
Services that community members would like to see added were ebooks to download and newer releases of DVDs. When asked how they use the library to get what they need, the majority chose “going to the library to get help from staff” or “going to the library to look for information on my own” as opposed to calling the library or using the website. Services which the majority of respondents felt were most important included books and magazines, programs for adults, teens, and children, and Internet access. The top three functions of the library as ranked by the survey are recreation and leisure reading, furthering education, and as a community gathering place. Of those responding, 48% did not have Internet access at a place other than the library.
Assessment of facilities, services, technology, and operations (also see Service Standards assessment at end of document)
SCPL is located in the town of Vevay, and its service area is Switzerland County. There are no branches, nor is there a bookmobile. For some residents, the library is 25 miles from their homes. There are few retail establishments in Vevay, and the majority of people drive to the neighboring towns of Madison or Aurora to shop at a Wal-Mart or Kroger. Although SCPL is not conveniently located for many residents, almost 4000 residents or 40% hold a library card. There are over 31,000 items in the collection and circulation for 2011 was approximately 50,000. The collection includes books, videos, DVDs, audio books, newspapers, and magazines. SCPL subscribes to the database Ancestry Library Edition and INSPIRE offers a variety of free databases to all Indiana residents. In October of 2012, SCPL joined the Overdrive consortium to offer downloadable e-books and audiobooks to patrons.
SCPL has a staff of nine, three of whom are full-time. The director has an MLIS and a Librarian 2 certificate. She is the only degreed librarian employed by SCPL. The other full-time employees are an Adult Services Coordinator and a Youth Services Coordinator. A Local Historian is employed part-time to manage genealogy resources and inquiries. The remaining employees are circulation clerks and pages. Cataloging duties are shared between the Director and Adult Services Coordinator and as the library is relatively small there are many shared responsibilities among staff. SCPL is funded through property taxes and receives .47% of Switzerland County’s riverboat casino revenue. The library’s annual operating budget is approximately $265,000.
Regular services offered by SCPL include a weekly Story Hour for toddlers and preschoolers, a Summer Reading Program for youth and adults, and outreach services to the Swiss Villa Nursing Center, Switzerland County Schools, Head Start, and local day cares. There are eight computers in the library for public use. These provide Internet access as well as Microsoft Office software. Internet access is through the ENA consortium with SCPL having 2 T1 lines. Printer, copier, scanner, and fax services are provided to the public and there is a charge for these. Wireless Internet connection is available during library hours. SCPL is open Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m., Friday 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m., and Saturday 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
Originally housed in a Carnegie building, in 1992 SCPL moved into a newly built 7500 square foot facility. The building has one floor and includes one large room with adult and teen resources, the circulation desk, and all public access computers. There are separate rooms for local history/genealogy and children’s resources as well as a meeting room which holds approximately forty and is available for public use during library hours. The majority of library programs take place in the meeting room. SCPL is a Learning Center for the Ivy Tech College Cooperative and there are five computers in the meeting room for use by postsecondary distance education students. These computers are used by staff to conduct in-service training and computer workshops for the public.
Each year, SCPL offers adult programs such as craft classes, computer workshops, and informational and cultural programs. In April 2009, SCPL migrated from the ILS Polaris to the open source ILS Evergreen Indiana (EI). This move has increased resources and borrowing opportunities for patrons. A statewide delivery system transports items twice a week for a fee to SCPL which is subsidized in part by the Indiana State Library.
Statement of Community Needs
- Access to current computer technology resources and high speed Internet
- Materials and services which support the formal educational needs of community members
- Materials and services which support the leisure pursuits of community members
- Materials and services that support lifelong learning
- Opportunities to access information about social services, government resources, employment and career options, and community activities
- Provide the community with a trained and highly motivated staff.
- Operate and maintain a facility based on the changing role of the library and the needs of the community.
- Provide and expand products, services and programs to meet the needs of the community.
- Investigate and implement the latest technology appropriate for our library.
- Increase public awareness and marketing of library materials, products, services and programs to promote support.
Goal 1: Provide the community with a trained and highly motivated staff.
- Maintain a staff that believes in the library’s mission and values, consistently delivering excellent service to the community.
- A majority of staff members attend one in-service, training, conference, or networking event annually.
- Staff members will be cross-trained so they understand the duties and responsibilities of staff in other departments and will assist as needed.
- Staff will be required to demonstrate basic competency in computer applications.
1.1 Develop a list of competencies for each position.
1.1 Provide training to appropriate library staff in areas such as customer service, time management, publicity and marketing, library resources and computer skills-partner with schools, Vevay Main Street, Tourism, Indiana State Library, neighboring libraries.
1.2 Identify individual staff training needs on an annual basis.
1.3 Seek out a variety of formats and various venues for training and networking opportunities-partner with libraries in neighboring counties and ISL.
1.4 Encourage staff to seek out at least one non-mandated training activity annually.
1.5 Institute a cross-training program for most employees.
Goal 2: Operate and maintain a facility based on the changing role of the library and needs of the community.
- 100% of library users feel that the library provides a comfortable, inviting environment where patrons feel welcomed.
- 95% of patrons can easily orient themselves around the library.
- Continue to manage the current facilities resources and space in the best possible manner.
2.1 Provide an inviting library setting that meets patron needs for convenient access to collections, appropriate technology, a community meeting place and areas for quiet reflection.
2.2 Develop schedule for maintenance and improvement of the physical facilities.
2.3 Improve the current facility’s utilization of space.
2.4 Improve signage throughout the facility.
Goal 3: Provide and expand products, services and programs to meet the needs of the community.
- Increase circulation by 5% each year.
- Increase attendance at library programs by 8% each year.
- Increase web site visits (hits) by 10% each year.
- Increase those who “like” us on facebook by 20% each year.
- Increase percentage of funds spent on materials to 15% (Enhanced service standard)
3.1 Identify new initiatives that address the needs of the community and support the library’s mission.
3.2 Manage existing resources to achieve maximum benefit.
3.3 Expand or create programming for the following areas so that a total of at least 150 programs are held annually (Exceptional level for state service standards)
-Programs for school age children
3.4 Make computers and space in meeting room available for adult students pursuing GED, advanced certificates and degrees, and enhanced work skills-partner with Ivy Tech Community College, Economic Development, Eco15, Purdue Extension.
Goal 4: Investigate and implement the latest technology appropriate for our library.
- Fully support the technological infrastructure needed to bring the latest technological and informational resources to the community.
4.1 Use appropriate technologies to give the community seamless access to library resources.
4.2 Monitor changing technology and add or upgrade resources and services-partner with Jefferson County Public Library for employment of IT support.
4.3 Add 2 public computers so that total public access computers totals 20 (Exceptional service standard level).
4.4 Develop minimum technology competencies for staff members and provide training to meet the competencies-partner with schools, neighboring libraries, Indiana State Library.
Goal 5: Increase public awareness and marketing of library materials, products, services and programs to promote support.
- See a 10% annual increase in number of people with library cards.
- See a 10% annual increase in the number of people coming into the library.
- Obtain $2500 in funding from outside sources annually.
5.1 Provide information to taxpayers and funders of the library’s value for personal and economic growth and the essential role of library staff as information professionals-partner with elected officials, Economic Development, other libraries through Geek campaign, radio and newspaper.
5.2 Create a single library identity for promotional materials.
5.3 Stress image and reputation both internally and externally, maximizing the value of the library to the community-partner with Department of Workforce Development, Economic Development, Switzerland County Historical Society, County Council, County Commissioners.
5.4 Make existing library services, resources, and mission more visible-partner with radio, newspapers, and any agencies which may be holding outreach events.
5.5 Continuously improve and encourage the use of the library’s website as a 24/7 branch.
5.6 Develop attractive displays to merchandise current materials.
5.7 Develop outreach programs to ensure that members of the community are aware of library resources and services to assist them with their research, educational, and recreational needs-partner with senior center, nursing home, day cares, Purdue Extension service, YMCA.
5.8 Encourage staff participation in community organizations and activities.
5.9 Enhance the Board of Trustees’ ability to serve as advocates for the library.
5.10 Actively participate in all pertinent state/local planning for the future of public libraries within the State of Indiana-partner with Indiana State Library, ILF, government officials and Economic Development.
Financial Resources and Sustainability
The library will continue to annually increase the proposed budget by the state growth quotient to support the growing community and increase in services. Money from the operating fund will be transferred to LIRF and Rainy Day each year for future library improvements. County Council has committed Casino Riverboat funds to the library at .47% of revenue through 2013. In addition, County Council has supported the library by giving additional Casino Revenue for special projects such as upgrades to the doors and bathroom to meet ADA compliance in 2008 and new carpet in 2011. The library will continue to maintain the good relationship they have with local officials by attending meetings and keeping them informed of activities and community needs in relation to the library. The library will continue to apply for Casino Revenue sharing and will save a portion of the funds each year in the event that the revenue sharing situation changes in the future.
The library will apply for funding from other local, state, and federal sources as grant opportunities fit the goals of the library. The Community Foundation of Switzerland County, the Vevay Switzerland County Foundation, and the United Fund have supported program and technology needs in the past, and the library will continue to apply for grants through these avenues. Local businesses will be asked to support the Summer Reading Program as they have in the past. When there are LSTA grants which can meet the needs of the library’s service population, the library will pursue those opportunities. The library may partner with other groups such as the Switzerland County Historical Society, the schools, the YMCA, Purdue Extension, Economic Development and others to seek funding for special collaborative activities.