Strategic Plan 2021-2023

Introduction: Our Library serves patrons of all ages in, and surrounding, the Village of Butler, Wisconsin. We focus on the traditional mission of libraries, which is providing free access to informational, educational, and entertainment-based tools, materials, and opportunities. Our collection is both contemporary and historical. We provide free access to computers and the Internet. We communicate regularly to our local schools so that students are aware of available resources, such as databases, and STEAM kits for home use. We offer virtual programs for all ages, based around our patrons’ interests.

The Library was established in 1964 with a small collection of donated books, furniture, and equipment. Today, we have a 5,900 square foot library with 25,000 items in our collection, a comfortable teen area, an activity-based children’s area, a reading area, public computers, one conference room, and study corrals.

We are part of the Bridges Library System, which provides support for library operations, technology, and resources to 24 libraries throughout Waukesha and Jefferson Counties.

Strategic Direction: The following goals guide the Library Board, the Library Director, and our staff through 2021-2023 with the ways and means needed to achieve these Goals. Goals will be revisited again in 2023.

We will create projects and carry out planned and detailed actions throughout two years to achieve these goals. Each goal includes some initial ideas for how they might be achieved.

Review Process: Through discussions with Board members, members of the Friends of the Library, library staff, volunteers, and patrons, we developed these goals. Thank you to all who contributed to this review and update our Strategic Goals. Your efforts and thoughtful input help us make progress year by year.

2021-2023 Strategic Goals

Goal #1:

We will be recognized as an important source of knowledge, resources, activities, and fun for residents and businesses in Butler and the surrounding suburbs.

Our library helps patrons find life-critical information (Medicare, Unemployment, Social Services, etc.) as well as life-expanding entertainment, mainly through printed and digital materials and up-to-date technology.

We can increase our visibility by hosting programs with Village resources, such as the Police and Fire Departments. We can also collaborate on programs with the Parks & Recreation Department, the Clark House, and/or by working with the Community Foundation.

This Goal can be achieved by developing a marketing plan, creating a welcome package for new residents, identifying programs of interest to local businesses, expanding outreach to citizens without easy access to the physical library, etc.

Goal #2: We will work to retain library staff members who are knowledgeable about libraries and their collective resources, and who are comfortable using and teaching patrons to use technology, digital products/software, and any kind of information that may be requested from said patrons.

Our Library serves a small community, and as a result the staff offers a level of personal service not readily available in the larger metropolitan/suburban libraries that surround us. Patrons repeatedly list such personal service as being valuable to them.

Our Library provides access to physical materials available from throughout Wisconsin and beyond through the ILL Loan Service, as well as digital access to a broad range of resources. Patrons increasingly rely on the Library to help them identify and locate these resources.

This Goal could be achieved through efforts at wage equity, exploration of future benefits, on-going training and cross-training, ever-improving communications, ongoing support from the Library Board, and the public recognition of all that our staff achieves as they serve patrons.

Goal #3: We will align Library services and technology with community and business needs/requests as much as possible.

Our Village is land-locked and unable to expand in the same way that communities around us are growing. Even so, we have affordable homes for families with school-age children, a well-established population of long-term homeowners, and a dynamic and diverse business community. Each group will have unique requirements that the Library can help to meet.

This Goal could be achieved through on-going inquiries to our patrons, business leaders, community leaders, public and private school contacts, and others involved in administering Village services about their goals, needs, and requests.

Goal #4: We will create and cultivate long-range plans for implementing, maintaining, and updating library technology, with an emphasis both on public use and on library operations.

With the support of federal organizations, the State of Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, and the Bridges Library System, our Library has access to technology that we could not afford on our own. We will make long-term decisions about the technologies we buy into, with a focus on providing access and services that patrons will need today and in the future. While we recognize we can’t control or know what the technology of the future will consist of, we can study and analyze current trends to adjust and plan from a place of knowledge and skill.

This Strategic Goal can be achieved through carefully planning across multiple fiscal years, incorporating knowledge from our computer service provider, and Bridges’ technology consulting service. Staff should also be trained to stay up-to-date on current and future technology trends, and their input should be gathered before any major technology acquisitions.

SMART GOALS & Action Plans: To Be Determined