Planning for The Next Decade 2015

Community Planning Process

The Next Decade Strategic Plan and Community Impact Goals will be announced in 2016.

activity from Community Workshop

A major part of developing our community impact goals has been getting feedback from the community, staff, and board members. We are nearing the end of this phase of the planning process. We are at a point at which we must start to look at the information we have gathered and see what the trends and themes are from these various groups.

We used different methods to gather the information, so in some instances the questions were a little different. We also asked each group several questions. In an effort to examine a manageable number of responses and those responses most relevant to our planning, we will look at those responses to the questions that had to do with aspirations for the community and library, or those that related to desired points of emphasis for the library.

Below is an overview of the meetings, workshops, and the survey. 

Date Activity
Jan – Feb, 2014 Community Survey conducted by ETC Institute of Olathe, KS
Feb 17, 2014 Staff Development Day goal priorities exercise
Sep 29, 2014 TSCPL Three Board Retreat
Nov 3 – Dec 18, 2014 Next Decade Staff meetings (All staff participated in small groups of 20 members or less)
May 27, 2015 Community Planning Workshop at TSCPL
Jul 23, 2015 Community Planning Workshop at Juli’s Coffee & Bistro
Jul 28, 2015 Community Planning Workshop at Sacred Heart Church – Oakland
Aug 10, 2015 Community Planning Workshop at Garfield Park Community Center

Community Survey

The community survey was sent out in early 2014 to approximately 3,200 households that were representative of the population of Shawnee County. We received 844 completed surveys which was considered to be statistically significant by ETC, the company that conducted the survey.

The question that seemed the most relevant to the community impact goals, and the most comparable to the aspirational questions in our meetings, was question number 12. Respondents were asked to what they considered the principal roles and services that they felt the library should emphasize in the next few years. They were given a list of pre-selected options and could choose up to four.

Staff Development Day 2014

Staff members were given $50,000 in play money to help prioritize library goals. They were given a list of initiatives and services and then allocated their money to those areas that they felt were most appropriate. If there was something left out, they were able to write down a new category for their money.

Play Money Initiative
$940,000 Provide services to allow children from birth to age 5 to enter school ready to learn
$840,000 Provide services to help all school-age children learn
$820,000 Provide services that support reading and learning throughout life
$660,000 Help individuals use technology tools
$620,000 Provide resources for reading / listening / viewing pleasure
$580,000 Support local economic development and job seekers
$540,000 Provide services for our multicultural community
$460,000 Provide creative do-it-yourself (makerspaces)

Three Board Retreat

Members of the Library Executive Board, Friends Board, Foundation Board, and Teen Advisory Board met in the summer of 2014 to help brainstorm and create the Community Impact Goals. Attendees participated in various brainstorming activities, including a SOAR analysis. After brainstorming, each attendee selected the five aspirations that they felt were most important. Similar responses were combined into categories, and are represented in the graph below.

Promote reading and literacy 64%
Support lifelong learning 52%
Be the deciding factor for people moving to Topeka 52%
Visionary leadership 49%
Make the latest technology available 43%
Easily accessible to the entire community 43%
Kids are ready for kindergarten 37%
Successful community outreach 30%
Citizens are engaged and empowered 27%
Community supports us 24%
We are the best library 21%
Diversity of staff 18%
Support and nurture staff 15%
Trusted source of information 12%
Leaders in the community 12%

Staff Meetings

All library staff members participated in small groups and participated in the SOAR exercise and then marked the Aspirations that they thought were most important to the library. We then compiled the answers and grouped similar answers together. Below is the list of most popular Aspirations from these sessions and some examples of the answers that fell under each of the top categories.

Category Dots
Literacy for all ages 84
Lead community change / social issues 73
Community hub 50
Outreach to targeted populations 47
Easy and equitable access for all 37
Digital literacy 35
Access to technology 31
Everyone has a library card / uses the library 31
Satellite locations / more outreach services 31
Customer centered 30
Fun and safe place 30
More quality, less quantity 30
Adult literacy 27
Help with employment 27
Partner with more organizations 25

Literacy for all ages

  1. Literacy, written and technology
  2. Others think of the Library to “support” literacy – both child and adult
  3. Kids ready to learn 100% literacy rate (kids and adults) the written word don’t let it die out
  4. 100% literacy rate for better jobs and community
  5. 100% literacy at all levels
  6. A big role in community solving its literacy issues
  7. Literacy for all

Lead community change / social issues

  1. Need in our city – how can we help and support
  2. Help make a dent in the poverty level
  3. On site social worker and nurse to help customers such as homeless and others
  4. Counselor for troubled teens – families sometimes they just don’t know
  5. Leading community change
  6. Be a force for good in the community
  7. Community a better place for everyone
  8. Lower the crime rate

Community hub

  1. Destination place – the 3rd place like the Town Square
  2. A gathering place – the 3rd place
  3. Hub that everyone in Shawnee County comes to
  4. We’re the center of the community
  5. Encourage sense of community even more (Library belong to them)
  6. Everything is here
  7. Were the place people want to be – at least once a week
  8. First place people think of

Outreach to targeted populations

  1. Helping Spanish community and other communities – Asian
  2. More programming – advancing aging population
  3. More outreach to low income communities
  4. Go to where troubled teens are
  5. Helping prison community

Easy and equitable access for all

  1. Reach everyone
  2. Access for everyone
  3. Level the playing field
  4. Meet people where they are
  5. Bring people to the library who don’t have transportation
  6. Ensure access to materials
  7. We will be physically accessible to all

Digital literacy

  1. Teaching technology
  2. Providing instruction for digital literacy
  3. Literacy → not just reading → digital literacy
  4. Literacy – digital, ties to job growth
  5. Literacy → Digital literacy

Community Meetings

In the summer of 2015 we held community meetings at six different locations throughout Shawnee County. We had enough participants at four locations to have them break into groups and perform a SOAR analysis. They then marked the Aspirations that they felt were most important. 

Community workshop at Garfield community center

Community workshop breakout group

Most Common Aspirations

In an effort to understand the top answers from the various meetings and survey, the top four answers from each were grouped together and given a point value based on their ranking.

Aspiration Score
Reading and literacy 10
Celebrate our diversity 9
Lifelong learning 8
Kindergarten readiness 5
Culture and opportunities that bring back college grads 4
Kids are taken care of by parents 4
School-age kids learning 3
Reading and viewing for pleasure 3
Reason people move to Topeka 3
Community / social change 3
Serve role in promoting Topeka/Shawnee County history 3
More engaged citizens 3
Topeka Community - Move economic Development 3
Vital Downtown 3
Entertainment option – More! 3
Community hub 2
Increase our “curb appeal” 2
Wave magic wand and have every child reading at grade level 2
Helping kids with college prep 2
More Bookmobile stops – N Topeka, Northland C C 2
Topeka Community - Less violence 2
Topeka Community - More people living in city 2
Topeka pride 2
Technology literacy 1
Visionary leadership 1
Outreach to targeted populations 1
Clean Up corridors into the city 1