Strategic Plan 2007- 2009

Document Sample
Strategic Plan 2007- 2009 Powered By Docstoc
					Strategic Plan 2007-
                      Table of Contents

MESSAGE FROM BOARD CHAIR                                                    3

OUR MISSION STATEMENT                                                       4

ABOUT YELLOWHEAD REGIONAL LIBRARY                                           5

KEY ACCOMPLISHMENTS 2003-2006                                               7

AGENTS OF CHANGE                                                            8

Rising Expectations from Public and Library Members                        8

Increasing Requirements for Accountability and Transparency                8

Human Resources Transitions                                                8

Advocacy and Promotion                                                     9

External Partnerships                                                      9

Funding/Revenue                                                            9

STRATEGIC FOCUS                                                            10

Communication, Visibility and Value                                        11

Service Directions                                                         17

Organizational Resources                                                   24

RESULTS REPORTING                                                          27

                Yellowhead Regional Library ! Strategic Plan 2007 – 2009    2
Message From Board Chair

      We have chosen to call our Plan of Service “View From The Summit” because the
      information contained within it was compiled from the comments provided by our
      stakeholders at the first YRL Summit held in May of 2006. This information will
      form the framework for examining our operations internally and externally over the
      next three years. The completed Plan required a co-operative effort to produce and I
      would like to thank all those who contributed. Thanks are due to Gene Roach and his
      team from Alberta Community Development, who facilitated the May Summit.
      Thanks, as well, to the YRL Administration and the Service Committee, chaired by
      Yvonne Slemko, who worked diligently to put the information into a format which
      would be both workable and understandable. Special thanks go out to those
      stakeholders who took the time to attend the Summit and provide us with the
      information required to build the Plan. Yellowhead Regional Library exists as an
      organization because of its members and it is our commitment to our members to use
      this information to refine and improve the ways in which we provide regional
      library services to you.

                                                                            YRL Board Chair

              Yellowhead Regional Library ! Strategic Plan 2007 – 2009                           3
Our Mission Statement

Yellowhead Regional Library provides materials and
services to public and school libraries, and other
organizations to assist them in meeting the
informational, educational, cultural and recreational
needs of their communities.

           Yellowhead Regional Library ! Strategic Plan 2007 – 2009   4

                                                           Yellowhead Regional

Yellowhead                                                Regional Library (YRL),
located in Spruce Grove, Alberta, began operations in January 1971 by providing
services to the school and public libraries in the Counties of Barrhead, Lac Ste.
Anne, Leduc, Parkland and Wetaskiwin. As of January 1, 2006, Yellowhead Regional
Library provides service to 229,411 Albertans through 45 public libraries in 47
municipalities and 16,344 students in 62 schools across 5 school boards. For a list
of all our member libraries see YRL Member Libraries.

Yellowhead Regional Library is incorporated under the Alberta Libraries Act and is
governed by a Board. The Board consists of a duly appointed representative from
each jurisdiction that is a member of the system. For a complete list of
representatives, see YRL Members & Representatives. The Board frames policy,
develops goals and objectives, sets priorities and employs competent staff to
administer the library.

Yellowhead Regional Library operates with a staff of 26 (see Yellowhead Regional
Library Personnel) and with a budget of over $2 million dollars (see 2006 Funds
Budget). In 2006, member municipalities contributed $3.30 per capita and school

                Yellowhead Regional Library ! Strategic Plan 2007 – 2009             5
boards contributed $12.60 per student. The revenue for the municipal members
(the Local Appropriations and the System Operating Grant from Alberta Community
Development) totals $1,497,333. Revenue from school members (the School Levy)
totals $205,947. Financial information can be found in the Financial Statements for
the Year Ended December 31, 2005.

The main services that Yellowhead Regional Library provides to its member
libraries are:

   •   Acquisition, cataloguing, processing of library materials
   •   Training & Development
   •   Conferences and workshops
   •   Circulating collections of books, audio books and story time kits
   •   Computer and network support for public library members on the
       Yellowhead Regional Library network
   •   Delivery service
   •   Allotment for purchasing library materials
   •   Facilitation of interlibrary loans
   •   Information services, including online reference AAQ (Ask A Question) and
       curriculum support for school library members
   •   Integrated library system software, and TRACpac, the online catalogue
   •   TRAC/TAL (The Regional Automation Consortium/The Alberta Library) card
       for patrons of public libraries
   •   Online databases
   •   Yellowhead Regional Library website

                Yellowhead Regional Library ! Strategic Plan 2007 – 2009           6
Yellowhead Regional Library is also one of the founding partners of TRAC (The
Regional Automation Consortium). TRAC is a partnership of four regional library
systems in Alberta: Marigold Library System, Northern Lights Library System, Peace
Library System, Yellowhead Regional Library, and their member libraries. The four
system headquarters plus their member public libraries (156 libraries altogether)
jointly share an integrated library system software, which Yellowhead Regional
Library operates under an ongoing contract.

Key Accomplishments 2003-2006
The YRL Plan of Service 2003-2006 set out service directions for Yellowhead
Regional Library. In all, more than 70 strategies were developed, with progress
monitored on a quarterly basis. Key accomplishments during this time period

      2003 (2003 Annual Report)

      •   Developed and coordinated the province-wide Summer Reading Program
          called “Read up a Storm”
      •   Purchased “blue bags” for shipping interlibrary loans through Canada Post
      •   Yellowhead Regional Library and its member public libraries began
          preparation for the SuperNet
      •   Yellowhead Regional Library and the TRAC (The Regional Automation
          Consortium) partners welcomed Peace Library System to TRAC

      2004 (2004 Annual Report)

      •   Evaluated and weeded Yellowhead Regional Library circulating
      •   Implemented “floating collections” for circulating blocks of books in
          public libraries
      •   Coordinated the migration of the Peace Library holdings into the TRAC
          (The Regional Automation Consortium) database
      •   Yellowhead Regional Library became the first “complete” regional library
          system in Alberta when the Town of Devon joined
      •   SuperNet project progressed as Yellowhead Regional Library and most
          member public libraries received fibre optic cabling

      2005 (2005 Annual Report)

      •   Yellowhead Regional Library board approved a new model of computer
          and network support for member public libraries
      •   Municipal members approved a rate increase for 2007-2009
      •   Began developing new story time kits for school and public libraries
      •   School members approved rate increase for 2007

                Yellowhead Regional Library ! Strategic Plan 2007 – 2009          7

     •   Yellowhead Regional Library headquarters and participating member
         libraries began using the SuperNet
     •   New training opportunities developed, such as web-based tutorials and
         the first School Library conference
     •   Developed a plan for expending the one-time funding from Alberta
         Community Development, including weekly delivery service to public
         libraries, hiring additional staff and revamping collections
     •   Began network and desktop support services for participating public

Agents of Change

  The following trends have been identified as major influences that will affect
  Yellowhead Regional Library over the next three years:

     Rising Expectations from the Public and Library Members
     •   Public library patrons continue to use more direct services from
         Yellowhead Regional Library
     •   Public library patrons want the moratorium lifted on the requesting of
         non-print materials in TRACpac
     •   Member library staff want increased training and support

     Increasing Requirements for Accountability and Transparency
     •   Stakeholders at all levels want more communication about the
         Yellowhead Regional Library decision-making process
     •   Stakeholders at all levels want more input into influencing the
         Yellowhead Regional Library decision-making process
     •   More communication to and from Stakeholders results in increased
         workloads and costs

     Human Resources Transitions
     •   Attracting new employees with appropriate skills is difficult as Alberta
         goes through a huge boom
     •   Expectations for salary and benefits are increasing
     •   Planning for staff turnover at headquarters is required
     •   Turnover of staff and trustees in member libraries increases the training
         workload for Yellowhead Regional Library

               Yellowhead Regional Library ! Strategic Plan 2007 – 2009              8
Advocacy and Promotion
•   Increasing need to promote services to funding organizations to ensure
    adequate revenue
•   Awareness and understanding of what Yellowhead Regional Library does
    is necessary to increase support for Yellowhead Regional Library among
    all stakeholders

External Partnerships
•   Operational changes to Canada Post’s Library Book Rate, and uncertainty
    about its future, necessitate changes in handling interlibrary loans
•   Delays in the release of the next generation integrated library system
    software has hindered enhancement of Yellowhead Regional Library
•   Federal and Provincial Government initiatives create new opportunities
    and new challenges

•   In 2003 provincial operating grants returned to the 1993 rate
•   Services increased to meet the requirements of one time grants are not
    sustainable without additional ongoing revenue
•   Municipal populations are steady or rising; school populations are
•   School library services continue to deteriorate due to a lack of support
    and funding
•   Membership revenue is less than that received by other regional libraries
    (see Regional Library Revenue Sources)
•   Member public library boards make no direct financial contribution

          Yellowhead Regional Library ! Strategic Plan 2007 – 2009           9
Strategic Focus

In Yellowhead Regional Library’s 2006 Needs Assessment Report , seven themes
were identified. These themes can be grouped into two areas of strategic focus:

          Communication, Visibility and Value
             A. Communication
             B. Advocacy & Promotion
             C. Stakeholder Meetings

          Service Directions
             D.   Differentiated Service Levels
             E.   Effective Use of Technology
             F.   New & Enhanced Services
             G.   Training Opportunities

In order to meet the demands for any changes in service direction, Yellowhead
Regional Library also needs to ensure that the system has the organizational
resources to support change. Hence, Yellowhead Regional Library also needs to
focus on the following areas:

          Organizational Resources
             H. Facility/Capital
             I. Funding
             J. Staffing

Yellowhead Regional Library will be investigating creative approaches to address
these areas of strategic focus. Member libraries want services and programs that
will support and enhance their own operations. Yellowhead Regional Library’s
capacity to meet these service expectations is limited by facility, funding and
staffing. Therefore, the challenge is to provide services that are innovative yet

                  Yellowhead Regional Library ! Strategic Plan 2007 – 2009          10
Communication, Visibility and Value

A. Communication

One of the strongest themes to emerge from the Yellowhead Regional
Library Summit was the need to review ways in which Yellowhead Regional
Library communicates with member jurisdictions and library staff.
Clarification is needed of Yellowhead Regional Library’s role with regard to
disseminating information to and from outside agencies (e.g. Alberta Library
Trustees Association, The Alberta Library, Alberta Community Development,
Industry Canada).

The primary means of communication to member jurisdictions has been
through the trustee. The Board has charged trustees with the responsibility
of keeping their sending jurisdiction informed. The meeting agenda
packages, meeting minutes and Board Highlights are the key resources for
this task.

Communication to staff of member jurisdictions and libraries is the
responsibility of Yellowhead Regional Library staff. Tools such as
newsletters, e-mail, printed notices, and Public Library Council meetings are
the key resources for this task.

                        Action Plan for Communications

   2007 – 2008
   Develop and implement a Communications Plan, including:
      •  Redesign Yellowhead Regional Library website
      •  Enhanced use of the Yellowhead Regional Library website as a
         communication tool
      •  Review of the way in which information is sought and disseminated to/from
         member jurisdictions, libraries and Yellowhead Regional Library staff
      •  Plan for gathering input from patrons
      •  Review of how Yellowhead Regional Library services are communicated to

          Yellowhead Regional Library ! Strategic Plan 2007 – 2009             11
B. Advocacy & Promotion

Yellowhead Regional Library is dependent on member jurisdictions and
Alberta Community Development for most of its funding. Yellowhead
Regional Library has cooperated with other regional and public libraries to
advocate for adequate, sustainable funding from the Province. The Board
works with member jurisdictions to secure adequate funding from members.

Promoting Yellowhead Regional Library is important so people are aware of
the services available to them. Such promotion also ensures that member
jurisdictions and boards are aware of the value of the services received from
Yellowhead Regional Library.

                    Action Plan for Advocacy & Promotion

     •   Cooperate with other regional and public libraries to celebrate the 100th
         anniversary of the Libraries Act
     •   Cooperate with other regional and public libraries in developing new advocacy
         efforts to ensure sustainable funding from the Province
     •   Cooperate with school authorities to advocate for school libraries to the

     •   Advocate for alternative or additional sources of revenue
     •   Implement the recommendations from the Communications Plan with regard
         to promoting use of Yellowhead Regional Library services

          Yellowhead Regional Library ! Strategic Plan 2007 – 2009              12
Yellowhead Regional Library ! Strategic Plan 2007 – 2009   13
Yellowhead Regional Library ! Strategic Plan 2007 – 2009   14
C. Stakeholder Meetings

In 2005 Yellowhead Regional Library managers held regional issues sessions
for staff and trustees of public libraries. These sessions did not have a
formal agenda and provided attendees the opportunity to raise any issues or
concerns they may have directly with department managers.

Twice yearly meetings of the Public Librarians’ Council (PLC) enable
Yellowhead Regional Library and member public library staff to meet and
discuss issues of common concern. This has been a popular forum, but some
librarians have suggested that more frequent meetings, or meetings with a
different format, would be desirable.

In 2006, different public library advisory groups met to discuss common
interests. Some of these groups are regionally based and some are based on
the size of library. Whenever possible Yellowhead Regional Library staff
meets with these groups to provide input or answer questions as required.

For school library members, Yellowhead Regional Library has numerous
stakeholder meetings. The YRL School Board Representatives &
Administrators meet twice a year with Yellowhead Regional Library
managers to share ideas. As well, over the past 18 months, Yellowhead staff
met with school library staff at various locations to gather conference
planning ideas and to explore the idea of school libraries fully participating
in Yellowhead Regional Library’s next generation library software.

As part of the Needs Assessment process in 2006, Yellowhead Regional
Library held a Summit at which stakeholders were invited to come and
present their views. External facilitators from Alberta Community
Development Libraries, Community and Voluntary Sector Services Branch,
ran the plenary and breakout sessions.

All Yellowhead Regional Library stakeholders appreciate the ability to
dialogue and otherwise provide feedback to Yellowhead Regional Library
Board and staff. It is clear that members find this valuable and wish it to
continue and even expand.

          Yellowhead Regional Library ! Strategic Plan 2007 – 2009            15
                 Action Plan for Stakeholder Meetings

  •    Hold the second annual Yellowhead Regional Library Summit
  •    Review, with participants, the structure and frequency of PLC (Public
       Librarians’ Council) meetings
  •    Meet with stakeholder groups (e.g. boards, public & school advisory groups)
       as staff resources permit
  •    Explore interest in the establishment of a School Librarians’ Council

  •    Hold the third annual Yellowhead Regional Library Summit

  •    Solicit stakeholder input as part of the next strategic planning cycle

        Yellowhead Regional Library ! Strategic Plan 2007 – 2009                16
Service Directions

D: Differentiated Service Levels

A form of differentiated service was introduced during Yellowhead Regional
Library’s restructuring in 1998 when quotas were introduced for all services.
The cost for each Yellowhead Regional Library service was calculated based
on past usage by the member libraries. The service quotas assigned to each
member were allocated on a per capita basis. Member libraries that wished
to purchase additional service would do so.

Over time service quotas, except for the allotment, have been eliminated.
The current model allows member libraries to access the services according
to their needs.

At the Summit, differentiated service levels was a theme identified by
stakeholders. Further clarification is needed on what form differentiated
service levels should take.

             Action Plan for Differentiated Service Levels


       •   Investigate stakeholder expectations for differentiated service levels
       •   Assess the feasibility of differentiated service level models

       •   Hold stakeholder meetings to report on stakeholder expectations and
           the outcome of the feasibility study

           Yellowhead Regional Library ! Strategic Plan 2007 – 2009                 17
E: Effective Use of Technology

Yellowhead Regional Library continuously assesses how to use technology to
support each member public library in its provision of library services to patrons
(member school libraries receive technical support from their jurisdictions). This
work began with the rollout of the SuperNet and expansion of network and
technical support for those on the Yellowhead Regional Library network. The
provision of these services has necessitated a substantial network re-design and
expansion at Yellowhead Regional Library headquarters.

TRAC has been using the same integrated library system since 2000. Yellowhead
Regional Library and our TRAC partners need to evaluate our choices to determine
which software and hardware solution will best meet our future needs.

Yellowhead Regional Library members look to Yellowhead Regional Library staff for
information and recommendations on technology issues and developments, such as
the SuperNet and technology training.

                 Yellowhead Regional Library ! Strategic Plan 2007 – 2009            18
               Action Plan for Effective Use of Technology

2007 - 2008
  •   Develop a Technology Plan that will be updated annually, including:
          o hardware and software upgrade strategy
          o network design and monitoring
  •   Explore ways to continue to capitalize on the SuperNet network infrastructure
  •   Redesign Yellowhead Regional Library website to facilitate communication and
  •   With our TRAC partners plan a migration to a new integrated library system

         Yellowhead Regional Library ! Strategic Plan 2007 – 2009             19
F: New & Enhanced Services

Yellowhead Regional Library member libraries are always seeking to improve
service to members of their communities. Challenges arise when a new or
enhanced service requires additional resources in order to provide the service. The
expectation for new and enhanced services needs to be tempered with Yellowhead
Regional Library’s ability to sustain these services in to the future.

                      Action Plan for New & Enhanced Services
          •   Review and update Yellowhead Regional Library Collection Development
          •   Investigate with TRAC partners online selection/ordering of materials for
              member libraries
          •   Implement coordinated collection development with member public libraries
          •   Review delivery to/from TRAC partners
          •   Explore member views about bringing school libraries live on the TRAC
              integrated library system

          •   Explore options for bringing Yellowhead Regional Library school library
              members holdings on TRAC database
          •   Investigate weekly delivery to school library members
          •   Investigate bookmobile partnership with member municipalities

                 Yellowhead Regional Library ! Strategic Plan 2007 – 2009               20
G: Training Opportunities

There are emerging trends and library related developments for which members
look to Yellowhead Regional Library for training in order to meet the needs of their
patrons. In addition, a theme that emerged from the Yellowhead Regional Library
Summit was that there is a need for additional Board development and in-house
staff training. Emerging technologies will assist Yellowhead Regional Library in
delivering innovative and effective training.

                Yellowhead Regional Library ! Strategic Plan 2007 – 2009          21
        Action Plan for Training

  •    Develop a Coordinated Training Plan
       for Yellowhead Regional Library,
           o Basic computer competencies
           o Use of new integrated library
              system software
           o Desktop support services
           o Conference and workshop
        Yellowhead Regional Library ! Strategic Plan 2007 – 2009   22
  •    Review workshops and training for
Yellowhead Regional Library ! Strategic Plan 2007 – 2009   23
      Organizational Resources

H: Facility and Capital

The Yellowhead Regional Library headquarters is sixteen years old. The Board
struck an Ad hoc Committee to evaluate our facility and capital needs. Koliger
Schmidt Architects-Engineers was hired in September 2006 to provide a Building
Condition Report (BCR). This BCR identified mandatory, optional and cyclical
repairs, as well as the life expectancy of major building components. Many of the
building components will reach the end of their life expectancy between 2013 and

A separate study of the need for ergonomic furniture was conducted in 2006.
Implementation of the recommendations from this study will require capital
planning and revisions to Yellowhead Regional Library’s Capital Asset Replacement

                           Action Plan for Facility and Capital

          •   Review and revise Capital Asset Replacement Guide
          •   Implement the findings of the BCR (Building Condition Report) on the direction
              of the Board
          •   Implement the findings of the ergonomic furniture study on the direction of
              the Board
          •   Investigate outside funding sources to assist with repair or replacement of
              capital assets
          •   Request provincial funding for repair and renovation of Yellowhead Regional
              Library headquarters

          •   Ensure that the 2010 rate proposal to member jurisdictions takes into account
              capital asset replacement costs

                 Yellowhead Regional Library ! Strategic Plan 2007 – 2009              24
I: Funding

When Yellowhead Regional Library was restructured in 1998, the members strongly
indicated that they wished to have a minimal level of service to keep memberships
costs low. Since that time there has been tension between a desire for new or
enhanced services and low membership fees. This is in contrast to the situation
found in library systems in Alberta (Regional Library Revenue Sources 2006).

The one time provincial funds granted in 2006 to Yellowhead Regional Library will
no longer be available in 2008. If no new sources of revenue are found by that
time, Yellowhead Regional Library will encounter significant sustainability

                                   Action Plan for Funding
        •    Investigate a rate increase for member school libraries
        •    Poll member school jurisdictions about the Yellowhead Regional Library School
             Levy for 2009
        •    Investigate alternative revenue sources and funding models

        •    Investigate a rate increase for member jurisdictions for 2010
        •    Poll member jurisdictions about the Yellowhead Regional Library Local
             Appropriation beginning in 2010

                 Yellowhead Regional Library ! Strategic Plan 2007 – 2009            25
J: Staffing

The provision of new and enhanced services has required additional staff at
Yellowhead Regional Library. Many of the current staff are nearing retirement.
The turnover rate for professional and technical staff is significantly higher than it
is for support staff. The cost and time required to hire new staff has increased.

Professional development for staff is an issue that was identified in the Plan of
Service 2003-2006. Implementing alternative ways of providing professional
development has not occurred as financial pressures have not allowed for changes
to the current practice.

YRL librarians participate in many collaborative initiatives. This participation is a
benefit to our members as Yellowhead Regional Library staff are able to take a
leadership role on these initiatives. However, the time commitment is substantial.

                                 Action Plan for Staffing

         •    Review salary grid and classifications
         •    Review staff recognition, individually and collectively

         •    Review professional development funding
         •    Review staffing levels including:
                 o administrative support
                 o systems
                 o cataloguing
                 o delivery service
         •    Review staffing in light of external obligations arising from the active
              participation in collaborative initiatives

         •    Create a succession/mentoring plan
         •    Create a plan in the event of a significant number of staff being
              unavailable for work

                   Yellowhead Regional Library ! Strategic Plan 2007 – 2009              26
Results Reporting
During the course of this strategic plan, Yellowhead Regional Library will be
periodically assessing its performance in each area of strategic focus and reporting
the results to its stakeholders.

Feedback mechanisms, industry standards and measurement techniques are already
in place for many of the areas of strategic focus (for example, circulation statistics
for collections, numbers of participants at workshops, surveys of users). New
services will also have an evaluative component built into them.

The Service Committee is charged by the Yellowhead Regional Library Board with
monitoring progress of this plan. The Committee will review that progress twice
yearly and will report this information to the Board and other stakeholder groups as
required. It is Yellowhead Regional Library’s expectation that progress made in
each area of strategic focus will be visible to all stakeholder groups.

                 Yellowhead Regional Library ! Strategic Plan 2007 – 2009          27