Indy Library Trustees Adopt New Plan for Services Through 2020
May 20, 2014
After 10 months of citizen input, research and assessment, The Indianapolis Public Library Board of Trustees has approved a strategic plan, "Yours to Experience," to define the Library's role and scope of services in the community for the years 2015-2020. The plan includes realigning branch locations to maximize access, reducing or eliminating the leasing of facilities, and developing new relationships with community centers and other partners.
To reduce geographical gaps in service, the Library would add a new location in Lawrence Township which is presently inadequately served by current locations. A relocation of the Eagle Branch would provide ADA access and improve service in the West 38th Street/Lafayette Road redevelopment area. The Brightwood and Glendale branches, two of four branches which now require lease payments totaling over $330,000 per year, would be relocated into Library-owned facilities in those vicinities.
The plan also would move library branch resources currently in the Flanner House Community Center to an expanded location farther north along the M.L. King/Michigan Road corridor to reduce a service gap in southeastern Pike and southwestern Washington Townships. Similarly, resources of the Fountain Square Branch, also a leased facility, would be relocated to an expanded location in Perry Township north of I-465 to fill a large service gap between the existing Garfield Park and Southport branches. To create a network of Library services in other convenient and accessible locations, the Library would work to forge additional partnerships with community centers and social service agencies where services could be located, as well as explore co-locations with schools, universities, city agencies and in other public buildings.
Other goals include strategies for enhancing the Library's contributions to foster personal growth and learning, establishing the Library as a civic focal point and resource center, and positioning the Library as an agent of innovation through technology and a well-targeted collection. Maintaining a strong commitment to early childhood learning, leading individuals in their digital journeys with technology, providing full access to those with different abilities, and meeting the needs of diverse populations are other key aspects of the plan.
"This plan affords an opportunity for us to expand our services to meet the needs of changing demographics," said Dorothy R. Crenshaw, Library Board President. "There are some very lofty ideas here, but it does create a framework for the direction we should move."
Guided by a citizen-led Steering Committee co-chaired by Carey B. Lykins and Hope Y. Hampton, the planning process began in July 2013 by identifying issues of importance to the community. It generated input from nine Task Forces comprised of representatives from over 150 businesses and organizations, as well as from public surveys and feedback from 23 community presentations on the proposed plan. Local demographic studies and assessments on patron usage and the condition of Library facilities also were considered.
"As we've known for some time, the role of the Library and libraries everywhere is changing, and The Indianapolis Public Library must evolve to remain relevant in the lives of individuals today," said Jackie Nytes, Library CEO. "While our patrons still use the Library for traditional services, they are demanding new ways of accessing information in an ever-changing cultural landscape. This plan allows the Library the flexibility to respond to changing needs and to better integrate itself into the core of our community."
The Library's ability to successfully execute its plans will largely depend on exploring new revenue sources, reducing reliance on property taxes by increasing access to other local option tax revenues, maintaining or increasing profit centers where income may be generated, and redirecting funds from the elimination of leased facilities. Support of The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation in its mission to attract grants and donations for services will be essential.
Approval of the plan will allow the Library Board to include expenditures for the initial steps of implementation in the Library's 2015 budget and operations plan to be devised later in 2014.
To learn more about the Library's Strategic Plan for the years 2015 – 2020, visit http://www.indypl.org/strategicplan/.