The library’s goals for the next decade are intended to facilitate big transformations through literacy and learning.
Like the recent Pew Report shows in facts and figures hard to ignore, libraries truly are “at the crossroads.” Here in Topeka, we’ve managed to get a map before we’ve reached the intersection between tradition and innovation, and so we’re confident we’re headed down the right path as we hone our goals and plans of action to improve the lives of everyone in our community.
“I believe libraries can change the world,” says Gina Millsap. “We’ll do that by helping make our communities be better places to live, work, play and learn.”
We developed our Community Impact Goals using feedback from community, staff and board members. We then looked at the information we gathered to identify the trends and themes from these various groups. Take a closer look at our planning process and the data we gathered.
1. Every child will be ready for kindergarten
The library is your best resource for raising a reader and a lifelong learner. Our first Community Impact Goal is “Every child ready for kindergarten.” And we mean every child. Our youth services leaders, librarians and staff are experienced educators, armed with research and an ironclad commitment to child advocacy. See some of the ways we are making big impacts with our youngest Shawnee County residents.
2. Everyone will discover their passion for learning
The library is a leader in providing services that support reading and learning throughout life. We strive to close the digital gap with classes in technology. We reach out to places and people in the community with resources and opportunities to learn skills to improve lives. In pursuit of this goal, we will continue our work of offering learning opportunities and seek to identify new ways we can impassion our community with a thirst for learning.
3. Everyone will continue learning new ways to live their best life
The spark that ignites a love for learning should continue to grow. We intend to stoke that passion throughout the lives of Shawnee County residents, with programs, collections, services and relationships. When individuals in the community are engaged in bettering their knowledge base and their lives, collective improvements will surface. The community will be happier, healthier, smarter and more engaged as a whole.
4. Topeka and Shawnee County will be an engaged community of readers
Reading is a survival skill. Readers are:
- more aware of what is happening in their communities and around the world
- more than twice as likely as non-readers to volunteer or do charity work
- more than three times as likely to visit museums and attend plays or concerts
- play or attend sporting events
- more likely to vote
- more likely to work at better paying and satisfying jobs
5. The library will be a learning organization committed to excellence in: Leadership, planning, customer focus, process management and partner focus
In order to produce measurable results from our work supporting the Community Impact Goals, our staff will be continuous learners, dynamic, energized and taking on leadership roles in the community. They will work on initiatives both inside and outside the library to improve lives for everyone. As a learning organization, our staff will increase their understanding of learning processes. Their individual goals will be strongly aligned with the library-wide Community Impact Goals.