Flexibility, Community Outreach and Integration of Services Emerge as Key Themes in Indy Library Planning Process

October 21, 2013

Over 100 individuals representing 65 local business and civic organizations have contributed valuable input during the initial strategic planning phase to determine the scope of services provided by The Indianapolis Public Library and its role in the community through the year 2020.

Citizen-led task forces have focused on how the Library can align its services to address local needs in such areas as education, workforce readiness, business development, access to technology, diversity, civic engagement, and nurturing safe and vibrant neighborhoods. Their findings, as well as comments from more than 1,000 patron surveys, will guide development of a recommended plan of action for the years 2015 - 2020. Direction also will come from results of local demographic research, housing and population forecasts, surveys of Library patron usage, and an assessment of current Library facilities.

A review of task force discussions finds certain consistent themes for future Library service. Among them is the need to bring Library resources into the Indianapolis community to meet changing needs and expectations. Other emerging themes include the need for greater access to the Library with more locations and services to diverse populations; fostering a role for the Library as a welcoming place for civic engagement; the importance of developing partnerships to achieve Library and community goals; and finding ways to inform and engage more people with the Library.

"What we're seeing thus far is a diverse set of expectations for the Library to meet the demands of the community in an Internet age," stated Jackie Nytes, Library CEO. "The level of commitment demonstrated by those participating in this process is impressive and extremely important as the Library navigates its future course, one that will depend on adequate and sustainable resources."

A steering committee, co-chaired by Carey B. Lykins, President and Chief Executive Officer of Citizens Energy Group, and Hope Y. Hampton, Director of Community Relations at the Christian Theological Seminary, will develop a plan to be presented at a public event at Central Library on January 28, 2014. The plan will then be discussed at all Library locations during CEO visits through early March, followed by final consideration and approval by the Library Board of Trustees. Initial implementation will be reflected in the Library's 2015 budget and operations plan.

To follow the progress of the Library's Strategic Plan, visit http://www.indypl.org/strategicplan