The Topsham Public Library is committed to providing traditional library service, which promotes reading as a route to lifelong learning and improved quality of life. At the same time, the library will continue to evolve as the community center for all in Topsham, incorporating innovative technology and programs that support the library’s mission to provide all patrons with opportunities for entertainment, enrichment, and enlightenment. Understanding the nature of the library as an essential service in the life of the community, the library will continue to be a conduit of local and unbiased information, and a physical space which encourages dialog, discussion and deliberation on community issues.
1. The Library will continue to provide essential materials, staff, programs and services funded by the Town of Topsham that meet the needs of the community.
2. The Library will continue to enhance and extend the provision of these programs and services through partnerships with individuals, businesses, organizations and foundations, which include monetary donations, in-kind materials/services, and volunteer time.
3. The Library will maintain and improve its awareness of community expectations for a 21st century library and develop and employ strategies to meet them.
1. Acquire and employ appropriate resources and technology, human and material, to maintain and develop services that meet community demands and provide superior customer service.
A. Add hours to circulation staff to provide better patron service
i. Expand and re-allocate support staff hours to maximize the strengths of individual staff members and to provide support to both patrons and professional staff (completion–ongoing)
B. Add professional staff hours for technology specialist; adult and children’s services
i. Expand and reallocate support staff hours to maximize the strengths of individual staff members and to provide support to both patrons and professional staff (completion–ongoing)
C. Provide professional development for all staff to keep up with changing technology and services as well as standards for public libraries.
i. Offer staff one paid professional development workshop day per year (completion FY 2016)
ii. Support staff members who are involved in MLS programs by allowing time during their working hours for study or program development on library time (completion FY 2016)
iii. Schedule regular professional development course time in library duties for all staff (completion- ongoing)
iv. Support local, regional and state-wide participation in CMLD, MLA and Infonet/MSL programs (completion-ongoing)
v. Support national conference attendance as appropriate (completion- ongoing)
D. Establish process to review/revise all electronic and physical promotional materials and library website.
i. Establish a plan for annual review by staff and volunteers (completion by FY 2016)
ii. Create a chain of responsibility for individual items on website and promotional materials (completion by 2017)
E. Strengthen and develop existing volunteer program to better complement and supplement staff efforts.
i. Review current use and coordination of volunteers.
ii. Re-allocate staff hours to support volunteer program development.
iii. Cultivate and train volunteers to assist in delivering high quality programming
2. Provide and maintain free (no fee for service) and supported (tax and donations) patron access to all forms of information, print or electronic, through physical and virtual connections with the library.
A. Increase materials budget as appropriate.
i. Increase materials budget by 3% per year (completion by 2019 budget)
B. Increase material types to include online resources and emerging technologies
i. Work with Maine InfoNet to influence and support the purchase of consortial databases (completion by FY 2016)
ii. Establish criteria for acquiring specific databases not funded through the consortium (completion by FY 2017)
iii. Expand and re-allocate staff hours to free up professionals for more comprehensive collection development
iv. Provide resources for patrons to produce user-driven content, such as self-publishing or animation software
C. Coordinate resources with State library and regional affiliations to assist in creating economies of scale and service.
i. Identify areas for potential cost savings by consortia purchasing (completion -ongoing)
ii. Maintain involvement in State organizations to make sure that Topsham has input into supportive statewide initiatives (completion-ongoing)
3. Establish a comprehensive Development plan that supports library growth through grants, donations AND ongoing municipal support.
A. Establish Development Coordinator position of at minimum 20 hours per week.
B. Establish process to set annual goals through Development Committee, Board and Director
C. Develop Goals and facilitate dialog in consultation with Selectmen, Town Departments, TDI, MSAD 75, any other entities and the general population to align library goals with broader Town development goals.
i. Develop a strategy to initiate town-wide discussion about the community’s needs and desires and realistic budget expectations for services.
D. Develop a local business roundtable to assist in identifying budget areas which could be supported by business donations and solicit this support (completion – FY 2016 and ongoing)
i. Identify and recruit local business leaders
ii. Develop goals and objectives for business roundtable
4. Continue to provide relevant, quality programming for all ages and specific patron groups.
A. Replace most professional circulation desk hours with support staff to facilitate program development and design
i. Evaluate program schedules to meet needs and provide staffing for same
B. Partner with local schools, including pre-schools to support early literacy and reading
i. Expand and re-allocate support staff hours to coordinate community engagement
C. Meet demand for Book Discussion groups for all ages and interests
5. Provide and improve physical spaces suited to diverse patron types– including young families, teens, young adults and matures– and their particular needs– be it quiet study, research, social, civic, or professional interaction.
A. Review physical configuration of existing library furniture and spaces. (completion FY 2018)
i. Explore feasibility of adding a door for storytime area and expand space and staffing (completion FY 2017)
ii. Explore feasibility of expanding Teen space (completion FY 2017)
iii. Reconfigure adult computer area (completion FY 2019)
iv. Identify grant and other funding to support an interior renovation to create a media studio and equipment for content production (completion FY 2018)
B. Partner with other local libraries and arts venues to provide production expertise and shared resources (like self-publishing capability)