The Troup-Harris Regional Library Board of Trustees approved the strategic plan director Keith Schuermann and his planning team have been crafting during 2012 at their Dec. 13 meeting.
The plan is titled “LEARN: Lifelong Educational Achievement, Resources, and Networking.”
A diverse team of 17 government officials, community leaders, library trustees, and staff, led by consultant Lyn Hopper, identified lifelong learning as the unique, timeless purpose of the library. Several focus groups and intensive community analysis identified the need for expanded technology and programming as being critical to ensuring this timeless purpose is met.
“For many of our users, our Internet and computers are the only source of technology they have available,” Schuermann noted. “While we will continue to provide these basic services, our strategic plan calls for us to accelerate these offerings.” He suggested the library may soon begin loaning technology itself, in the form of netbooks, preloaded eReaders, or other tablet devices such as iPads, just as they have traditionally loaned print materials.
A second key component of LEARN is reinvigorated programming. Increasing the number of active programs was a widely expressed need identified in focus group sessions, not just for children but for adults and young adults, to maintain the lifelong learning continuum. Schuermann argues this will serve, not only as a means of maintaining “cradle-to-grave” involvement in the library, but should attract new users as well.
“There’s no shortage of what we may be able to creatively offer our community – workforce development classes, technological instruction, health and wellness tutorials – the only limitation is our imagination.”
The community input feeding into LEARN further identified a desire to re-evaluate their hours of operation, particularly in the case of the Hogansville Branch, which in 2013 will realize a 30 percent increase in service hours, from 30 to 43.
“For too long this has been a library that has not received the resources they require to fully meet the needs of that community,” Schuermann said. Thanks to creative cost-cutting measures, the library will be able to redirect resources to that service area, in anticipation of a new SPLOST-funded library for Hogansville, which will begin serious planning in 2013.
For more information on the Troup-Harris Regional Library, as well as a schedule of its new service hours, please visit them www.thrl.org. An online version of the presentation made to the board is available at http://bit.ly/12S3DZg.