Library stakeholders to provide input for new strategic plan

Library board members, staff and municipal councillors are being invited to provide input.

Library board members, staff and municipal councillors are being invited to attend a Parkland Regional Library (PRL) meeting to provide input for a new strategic plan for 2016 to 2018. The current plan terminates at the end of 2015.

Four sessions will be held this month in Olds, Lacombe, Galahad and Camrose. Though not a host of any of the meetings, Sylvan Lake is a member of the PRL network.

The strategic plan is focused on customer service and the organization as a whole, said PRL director Ron Sheppard.

“What we’re going through now is a needs assessment process,” Sheppard said.

PRL is required to file a new plan with the provincial government every three years, which is why input is being sought, Sheppard added.

Information gathered will be sent to the PRL executive committee to be presented in additional meetings, so specifics of the future plan can be determined, Sheppard said.

“We have to try and figure out how to make the best possible future while balancing out what our resources are going to be,” Sheppard said.

Sheppard hopes the meetings will provide PRL staff with a clear mandate from stakeholders and individuals on what they want to be provided with.

“The reason it’s so important is because we’re operating in tight financial constraints and we can’t be everything to everybody,” he said. “It’s like cutting up the pie for dessert — you can only cut it into so many slices and make them meaningful slices.

“We need to know where we need to be putting our human resources and financial resources so that we can ensure that libraries are getting the best services and programs from us that they can.”

Shepphard said a big question will revolve around what kind of bigger role area libraries want PRL to play in terms of services and operations it provides.

“There are any number of things that we may be able to take on centrally and at the regional level so that they can concentrate on direct services at the local level.”