The Jackson County Library System (JCLS) is now under the governance and leadership of the Jackson County Library District Board of Directors, elected in May of 2014. For the first time in Jackson County’s history a five-member elected board is responsible for stewardship of library resources in fifteen communities. The Board of Directors launched a strategic planning process in October of 2015 to chart a future course.
Many individuals and groups shared their ideas, insights and passions in the development of this plan. Jackson County Library District is a public institution, funded by the public for the public. A great deal of effort went into consulting the public about what it needs from our libraries.
The planning process began November, 2015 with twenty community meetings held across all library branches. An additional six meetings were held off-site in community locations. During weeks that followed the meetings, more feedback was solicited in each branch through a “sandwich board” holding Post-It note suggestions. More than 1,000 community voices provided input about the desired Jackson County Library Services priorities.
In December, 2015 nine focus group sessions with 122 community leaders from a wide range of sectors including education, arts, business, social services, Friends of the Libraries and the Jackson County Library Foundation provided vital feedback about how the library system can help these leading organizations meet their community goals. All library staff shared their ideas in meetings, and as the final plan evolved staff were involved in identifying key strategies.
Key themes emerged to guide the development of the 2016 – 2021 Jackson County Library District Strategic Plan. Our libraries must:
Throughout this planning process, the Strategic Plan Project Management Team, the Blue Ribbon Citizen Oversight Committee and the Library District Board of Directors met regularly to review results of these various inputs and to delve into the specifics of many topics including technology, education, social, economic trends and effective partnership strategies.
The groups served as a sounding board and source of inspiration, contributing to thought provoking and ambitious perspectives from academia, business and the community at-large. The Jackson County Library District Board of Directors, the system’s governing body, stewarded the plan, providing key junctures and providing the plan’s foundation.
Adopted on April 28, 2016 this strategic plan will guide the priorities of library staff. It was developed with careful consideration of the feedback received and the data studied. The plan is shaped with the understanding that change is inevitable, and that our library services will adapt as warranted. At the same time, we will maintain our core values, measure all we do against our mission, and remain focused on serving the community.