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NCompass Live: Rising to the Challenge: Using the Aspen Institute Report and Action Guide for Strategic Planning

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NCompass Live - June 20, 2018
http://nlc.nebraska.gov/ncompasslive/

The Aspen Institute Dialogue on Public Libraries report Rising to the Challenge: Re-Envisioning Public Libraries and its companion Action Guide can be powerful tools for libraries as we seek to leverage our position as a trusted community resource to forge new partnerships for achieving community goals. Learn how one small public library used the Aspen Report in its strategic planning process to develop a dynamic new road map for community success.

Presenter: Anna L. Yount, Library Director, Transylvania County Library, Brevard, NC.

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NCompass Live: Rising to the Challenge: Using the Aspen Institute Report and Action Guide for Strategic Planning

  1. 1. Rising to the Challenge: Using the Aspen Report to develop a dynamic roadmap for community success Anna Yount, Library Director, Transylvania County Library, Brevard, North Carolina
  2. 2. Where in the world is Transylvania County and what is the Aspen Report?
  3. 3. Transylvania County, NC Total Population- 33,745 Approximately half of the County’s land area is in the Pisgah National Forest, the Dupont State Forest, the Gorges State Park, or the Nantahala National Forest.
  4. 4. www.transylvaniacounty.org
  5. 5. From a community with a solid industrial base and a large retirement community…….
  6. 6. In the first decade of this century closures left many unemployed and lacking a sense of hope …….To a tourism- driven “bikes and beer” economy.
  7. 7. Transylvania County Library Snapshot • Single 35,000 square-foot facility. Opened in 2006. • One bookmobile. • 54% of service population have library cards. • 209,000 visits annually • 317,000 annual circulation
  8. 8. The Aspen Institute and the Gates Foundation created the Aspen Institute Dialogue on Public Libraries to explore the essential role of public libraries in a dramatically changing world. The Report is intended to raise the profile of public libraries and to engage government leaders, trustees and community partners to transform public libraries and the communities we serve.
  9. 9. Is the community that you serve changing?
  10. 10. Are some of the indicators that you have traditionally used to measure success slipping?
  11. 11. When an issue arises in your community, do your community leaders think of the library as an important tool in their toolkit for addressing that issue?
  12. 12. In 2015, State Librarian Cal Shepard distributed copies of Rising to the Challenge: Re- Envisioning Public Libraries to every public library director in North Carolina. It was a game-changer!
  13. 13. ….a trusted community resource and an essential platform for learning, creativity and innovation in the community. …..illuminate ways that communities can leverage investments in libraries to build stronger civic ecologies and forge new partnerships for achieving local and national goals. “By design and tradition, the public library is the essential civil society institution. Through the provision of space, information and inspiration, it enables all the others.” The library is a core civil society institution, democracy’s “maker space”. Libraries are stable, reliable, nimble and always there. Public libraries are a critical institutional bulwark against the well-documented problem of growing income and educational inequality in the United States. ….a vital learning institution and engine for individual, community and civil society development. INSPIRATION…
  14. 14. And a call to action! Strategies for Success • Align with Community Goals • Access to Content in All Formats • Ensure Library Sustainability • Cultivate Leadership
  15. 15. Strategy 1: Align with Community Goals • Public libraries need to align their assets, programs and services with community priorities and goals. • Library and community leaders need to be more intentional as they deploy community resources, with libraries more deeply embedded in addressing critical challenges facing the community. • This will require flexibility and adaptability to change as community needs change. Aspen Institute Dialogue on Public Libraries 16 STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS A LIGN LIBRA RY SERVICES IN SUPPO RT O F CO MMUN IT YGO A LS Public libraries that align their services to support local community goals will find the greatest opportunities for success in the years ahead. This will require a level of flexibility and adaptability to change as community needs change. It will also require collaboration among libraries, policy makers and community partners to redefine the role of libraries as institutions that inspire learning, drive development, grow social capital and create opportunities. PRO VID E A CCESS T O CO N T EN T IN A LL FO RMA T S As the public library shifts from a repository for materials to a platform for learning and participation, its ability to provide access to vast amounts of content in all formats is vital. Libraries face two immediate major challenges in providing access to content in all forms: o Being able to procure and share e- books and other digital content on the same basis as physical versions o Having high capacity, easily scalable broadband technologies in every library that deliver and help to create content Stakeholders must work together to find solutions to these challenges that meet the community’s needs and work for content creators, publishers and the public. E NSURE LONG - TERM SUSTAINABILITY OF PUBLIC LIBRARIES Public libraries need to transform their service model to meet the demands of the knowledge society while securing a sustainable funding base for the future. Achieving this means libraries need to: o Identify reliable revenue resources for both daily operations and long-term planning and investment o Explore alternative governance structures and business models that maximize efficient and sustainable library operations and customer service o Become more skilled at measuring outcomes rather than counting activities o Balance the local and national library value proposition to consider economies of scale in a networked world without compromising local control. C U L T I V A T E L E A D E R S H I P Leadership is needed to build communities and public libraries that thrive and succeed together. Every community needs a vision and a strategic plan, with input from all stakeholder groups. Key steps include o improving communications with community leaders o developing community champions o strengthening intersections with diverse communities and communities of color o reaching out to and engaging with young-professional organizations and demonstrating the collective impact of partners working together RISING TO THE CHALLENGE Re-Envisioning Public Libraries Expanding access to education, learning opportunities and social connections for all is one of the great challenges of our time. It is a challenge made more urgent by the rapid transition to a new economy in which knowledge and creativity are the drivers of productivity and economic growth, and information, technology and learning are central to economic performance and prosperity. Public libraries are essential institutions for meeting this challenge. 1. 2. 4. 3. PLANNING A COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT WORKSHOP
  16. 16. Strategy 2: Access to Content in All Formats • Broadband is key! • Ensuring access to e-books and other e-content impacts the library’s ability to fulfill a core mission: to procure and share the leading ideas of the day. • Satisfying Wi-fi connectivity and “bring your own device” needs also important to function in changing content and learning ecosystems. Aspen Institute Dialogue on Public Libraries 16 STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS A LIGN LIBRA RY SERVICES IN SUPPO RT O F CO MMUN IT YGO A LS Public libraries that align their services to support local community goals will find the greatest opportunities for success in the years ahead. This will require a level of flexibility and adaptability to change as community needs change. It will also require collaboration among libraries, policy makers and community partners to redefine the role of libraries as institutions that inspire learning, drive development, grow social capital and create opportunities. PRO VID E A CCESS T O CO N T EN T IN A LL FO RMA T S As the public library shifts from a repository for materials to a platform for learning and participation, its ability to provide access to vast amounts of content in all formats is vital. Libraries face two immediate major challenges in providing access to content in all forms: o Being able to procure and share e- books and other digital content on the same basis as physical versions o Having high capacity, easily scalable broadband technologies in every library that deliver and help to create content Stakeholders must work together to find solutions to these challenges that meet the community’s needs and work for content creators, publishers and the public. E NSURE LONG - TERM SUSTAINABILITY OF PUBLIC LIBRARIES Public libraries need to transform their service model to meet the demands of the knowledge society while securing a sustainable funding base for the future. Achieving this means libraries need to: o Identify reliable revenue resources for both daily operations and long-term planning and investment o Explore alternative governance structures and business models that maximize efficient and sustainable library operations and customer service o Become more skilled at measuring outcomes rather than counting activities o Balance the local and national library value proposition to consider economies of scale in a networked world without compromising local control. C U L T I V A T E L E A D E R S H I P Leadership is needed to build communities and public libraries that thrive and succeed together. Every community needs a vision and a strategic plan, with input from all stakeholder groups. Key steps include o improving communications with community leaders o developing community champions o strengthening intersections with diverse communities and communities of color o reaching out to and engaging with young-professional organizations and demonstrating the collective impact of partners working together RISING TO THE CHALLENGE Re-Envisioning Public Libraries Expanding access to education, learning opportunities and social connections for all is one of the great challenges of our time. It is a challenge made more urgent by the rapid transition to a new economy in which knowledge and creativity are the drivers of productivity and economic growth, and information, technology and learning are central to economic performance and prosperity. Public libraries are essential institutions for meeting this challenge. 1. 2. 4. 3. PLANNING A COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT WORKSHOP
  17. 17. Strategy 3: Ensure Library Sustainability • Identify reliable sources of revenue for daily operations and long-term planning and investment. • Explore alternative governance structures and business models to maximize efficient, sustainable library operations and customer service. • Measure outcomes, not outputs • Consider economies of scale in a networked world without compromising local control (balance local & regional/national library value proposition) Aspen Institute Dialogue on Public Libraries 16 STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS A LIGN LIBRA RY SERVICES IN SUPPO RT O F CO MMUN IT YGO A LS Public libraries that align their services to support local community goals will find the greatest opportunities for success in the years ahead. This will require a level of flexibility and adaptability to change as community needs change. It will also require collaboration among libraries, policy makers and community partners to redefine the role of libraries as institutions that inspire learning, drive development, grow social capital and create opportunities. PRO VID E A CCESS T O CO N T EN T IN A LL FO RMA T S As the public library shifts from a repository for materials to a platform for learning and participation, its ability to provide access to vast amounts of content in all formats is vital. Libraries face two immediate major challenges in providing access to content in all forms: o Being able to procure and share e- books and other digital content on the same basis as physical versions o Having high capacity, easily scalable broadband technologies in every library that deliver and help to create content Stakeholders must work together to find solutions to these challenges that meet the community’s needs and work for content creators, publishers and the public. E NSURE LONG - TERM SUSTAINABILITY OF PUBLIC LIBRARIES Public libraries need to transform their service model to meet the demands of the knowledge society while securing a sustainable funding base for the future. Achieving this means libraries need to: o Identify reliable revenue resources for both daily operations and long-term planning and investment o Explore alternative governance structures and business models that maximize efficient and sustainable library operations and customer service o Become more skilled at measuring outcomes rather than counting activities o Balance the local and national library value proposition to consider economies of scale in a networked world without compromising local control. C U L T I V A T E L E A D E R S H I P Leadership is needed to build communities and public libraries that thrive and succeed together. Every community needs a vision and a strategic plan, with input from all stakeholder groups. Key steps include o improving communications with community leaders o developing community champions o strengthening intersections with diverse communities and communities of color o reaching out to and engaging with young-professional organizations and demonstrating the collective impact of partners working together RISING TO THE CHALLENGE Re-Envisioning Public Libraries Expanding access to education, learning opportunities and social connections for all is one of the great challenges of our time. It is a challenge made more urgent by the rapid transition to a new economy in which knowledge and creativity are the drivers of productivity and economic growth, and information, technology and learning are central to economic performance and prosperity. Public libraries are essential institutions for meeting this challenge. 1. 2. 4. 3. PLANNING A COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT WORKSHOP
  18. 18. Strategy 4: Cultivate Leadership • Librarians in many places are recognized as community leaders, but their experience has been in fielding problems as they walk in the door, not in going out into their communities. • People with new and diverse skills will be needed in libraries. • Having champions in the government, business and nonprofit sectors can open new opportunities for libraries. Aspen Institute Dialogue on Public Libraries 16 STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS A LIGN LIBRA RY SERVICES IN SUPPO RT O F CO MMUN IT YGO A LS Public libraries that align their services to support local community goals will find the greatest opportunities for success in the years ahead. This will require a level of flexibility and adaptability to change as community needs change. It will also require collaboration among libraries, policy makers and community partners to redefine the role of libraries as institutions that inspire learning, drive development, grow social capital and create opportunities. PRO VID E A CCESS T O CO N T EN T IN A LL FO RMA T S As the public library shifts from a repository for materials to a platform for learning and participation, its ability to provide access to vast amounts of content in all formats is vital. Libraries face two immediate major challenges in providing access to content in all forms: o Being able to procure and share e- books and other digital content on the same basis as physical versions o Having high capacity, easily scalable broadband technologies in every library that deliver and help to create content Stakeholders must work together to find solutions to these challenges that meet the community’s needs and work for content creators, publishers and the public. E NSURE LONG - TERM SUSTAINABILITY OF PUBLIC LIBRARIES Public libraries need to transform their service model to meet the demands of the knowledge society while securing a sustainable funding base for the future. Achieving this means libraries need to: o Identify reliable revenue resources for both daily operations and long-term planning and investment o Explore alternative governance structures and business models that maximize efficient and sustainable library operations and customer service o Become more skilled at measuring outcomes rather than counting activities o Balance the local and national library value proposition to consider economies of scale in a networked world without compromising local control. C U L T I V A T E L E A D E R S H I P Leadership is needed to build communities and public libraries that thrive and succeed together. Every community needs a vision and a strategic plan, with input from all stakeholder groups. Key steps include o improving communications with community leaders o developing community champions o strengthening intersections with diverse communities and communities of color o reaching out to and engaging with young-professional organizations and demonstrating the collective impact of partners working together RISING TO THE CHALLENGE Re-Envisioning Public Libraries Expanding access to education, learning opportunities and social connections for all is one of the great challenges of our time. It is a challenge made more urgent by the rapid transition to a new economy in which knowledge and creativity are the drivers of productivity and economic growth, and information, technology and learning are central to economic performance and prosperity. Public libraries are essential institutions for meeting this challenge. 1. 2. 4. 3. PLANNING A COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT WORKSHOP
  19. 19. People Place Platform The library’s key assets are people, place and platform. “Libraries need to be more intentional in the ways that they deploy resources in the community and more deeply embedded in addressing the critical challenges facing the community.”
  20. 20. • The library as people reflects the shift away from building collections to building human capital, relationships and knowledge networks in the community. • People are at the center of the library’s mission. People
  21. 21. • Today’s library is both a physical and virtual place, but it continues to be the physical presence of the library that anchors it most firmly in the community. • Reduction in physical materials (more content is stored digitally), greater customer mobility and the desire for more collaboration & creation are trends changing the nature of library physical spaces. Place
  22. 22. Platform A great library platform is a third place – an interactive entity that can facilitate many people operating individually or in groups – and supports the learning and civic needs of the community.
  23. 23. • The library’s platform includes all the resources that the library makes available to the community – librarians, books, video, technology, tools, images, software, other knowledge in the community and physical spaces. • The library’s platform is interactive, and it allows users to customize learning and creativity. • The library as platform reflects the disposition of an entrepreneurial learner – seizing opportunities to fill gaps and advance progress where it sees them. Platform
  24. 24. Aspen process: • Know your community and adapt the process accordingly. • One size does not fit all. • Non-prescriptive. • Flexible. • Stresses that libraries must be intentional in the ways they deploy their resources to address critical challenges in their unique communities. • Develops organizational capacity within the library. • Actively engages staff and board members. Adapting the Guide to YOUR Community
  25. 25. Our Process: • Self-study • Action Guide team work • Public Dialogues • Write the Plan!
  26. 26. • No surveys, please! Write us a letter. • Demographic research. • Studied our own data and challenged some long-held assumptions. • Studied the County’s long-range strategic plan to be sure that we aligned the library’s goals with the community’s goals. • Met individually with opinion leaders and key people. How we did our homework:
  27. 27. Aspen Action Guide ACTivities Series of worksheets centered around key concepts: • The Library as People • The Library as Place • The Library as Platform • Jobs and Economic Development • The Library as Civic Resource • The Library as Literacy Champion The ACTivities are designed to provide a framework to help you think about and discuss each concept as well as to evaluate current levels of activity and support. They are NOT prescriptive. Use them in any way that works in your Library!
  28. 28. Bubble failure Every ACTivity will not work in every Library, nor should it. If you’ve seen one library….. you‘ve seen one library !
  29. 29. Public Dialogues– Start the Conversation! • Think of the dialogue events as the first steps in developing a new relationship and an ongoing conversation with your community and its leaders. • The goal of this conversation is to look forward and enable the community and the library together to develop strategies and implement actions for deploying the library’s key assets in new ways to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow.
  30. 30. Engaging Community Leaders • Be judicious with your guest list. • Serve great food! • Send personal invitations. Do not send a form letter. • Use an outside facilitator • Respect their time • Listen carefully and take copious notes.
  31. 31. Public Dialogue Sessions • Have good food! • Host sessions in the Library as well as in other venues around your community. • Reach out and invite people. • Have an outside facilitator. • Be prepared to hear anything and everything. • Take careful notes.
  32. 32. We asked only two questions: #1 What is your vision for Transylvania County? In other words, when you imagine our community as the best it can be, what does that look like? Describe that place. #2 What can the Library do to make that vision a reality? What did we ask?
  33. 33. Getting the Word Out. We don’t do a good job of telling the community what we do. What did we hear? In every session, conversation converged around five areas: Outreach. Remember, we have no branches. This also reflects the Aspen Report’s urgent call that we learn “how to provide library services that are untethered from the library walls”. Early Literacy. In every session, there was unanimous agreement that we want to be a community where every child enters school ready to read and succeed. The Library as a safe, neutral place for the community to come together to discuss and learn about key issues. An important part of this was the library as a place that provides intergenerational connections. Comfort and access issues. Hours, food and drink, etc.
  34. 34. • http://library.transylvaniacounty.org/strategic-plan/ • Our product was a new Mission Statement, a new Vision Statement, and a new Strategic Plan. • We wanted a plan that was very short; that allowed us to be creative; and that focused on developing what was best for us and for our community. • In the end we crafted something that we are all very proud of. • Our Plan doesn’t feel like boilerplate. • And it doesn’t feel like a term paper. • It is alive and relevant. • We published the Web version first. • The print version was funded by our Library Foundation.
  35. 35. The process described in the Aspen Report and its accompanying Action Guide is outward-looking and focused on leveraging the Library’s key assets– People, Place, and Platform – to develop the public library as a dynamic civic institution providing services that are aligned in support of our community’s goals. Libraries as Community Asset
  36. 36. Aspen Resources http://www.libraryvision.org/resources
  37. 37. • Many ways to use the Aspen materials…..and they are all free! • Strategic planning • Community Awareness • Staff Day/In- House professional development • Trustee/Board Development • Local and regional association workshops Putting Aspen to work in your library

NCompass Live - June 20, 2018 http://nlc.nebraska.gov/ncompasslive/ The Aspen Institute Dialogue on Public Libraries report Rising to the Challenge: Re-Envisioning Public Libraries and its companion Action Guide can be powerful tools for libraries as we seek to leverage our position as a trusted community resource to forge new partnerships for achieving community goals. Learn how one small public library used the Aspen Report in its strategic planning process to develop a dynamic new road map for community success. Presenter: Anna L. Yount, Library Director, Transylvania County Library, Brevard, NC.

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