The Stratford Library Board of Trustees approved a new Strategic Plan for the Library. The new plan will guide and prioritize the Library’s work over the next several years, in response to all that the Library has learned from community members, patrons and colleagues from other Connecticut libraries.
“There is no better way to celebrate the Stratford Library’s 125th Anniversary of serving the residents of Stratford than to give serious thought to and plan how the library will meet current and future needs”, according to Board member and Strategic Planning Chairman Beth Daponte. “The Stratford Library’s 2022-2025 Strategic Plan, created under the wise tutelage of Plan A Advisors, represents the results of a comprehensive process of community and board engagement. The Strategic Plan and the process behind it helps prioritize the important work of the library’s incredible staff and committed Board of Trustees.”
The Strategic Plan updates the library’s Mission and Vision Statements and has a series of goals designed to fulfill them. The mission statement of the Stratford Library is: to empower and enrich our diverse community by providing access to innovative services, information, and ideas.
The vision statement crafted to serve as a headline for the entire plan is: Our Library will be a welcoming and dynamic community center for a diverse and evolving Stratford, recognized as the Town’s essential partner in guiding all residents to access the informational, educational, and cultural resources they need to thrive.
“This mission statement emphasizes the Library’s role as the Town’s essential partner”, according to Library Director Sheri Szymanski. “This is intentional as it recognizes that the Library is first and foremost a civic institution that shares responsibility with several agencies for Stratford residents’ wellbeing.”
Goal I of the plan reinforces that sentiment: The Stratford Library will advance the social, economic and educational needs of residents through programming and resources that support their success.
Goal 2 makes it clear that the Library has a responsibility to serve ALL Stratford residents, not just those who use the facility regularly, and that the Town offers many resources that the Stratford Library is ideally suited to connect them with. The goal states: The Stratford Library will expand community outreach and engagement so that every Stratford resident feels connected to the Library’s and Town’s rich resources.
Goal 3 states: The Stratford Library will partner with human service providers to connect residents in need to resources that ensure their well-being. Stratford librarians are increasingly asked to provide residents with information about human services and this need has increased substantially in recent years. Librarians are not trained counselors or case workers, but libraries are appreciated by many for offering information and programs without stigma or judgment
Goal 4 is more inward looking: The Stratford Library will strengthen both physical and organizational infrastructure to position it for continued excellence in its programs and services. This recognizes that any successful institution or enterprise, whether a school, a hospital, a coffee shop or a retail outlet must continue to invest in itself and its infrastructure to remain at the top of its game.
Each goal is supported by a series of objectives designed to implement each goal. The entirety of the Stratford Library’s new Strategic Plan can be found on their website at: www.stratfordlibrary.org/strategic-plan.