Neuse Regional Libraries are committed to remaining an integral part of the community by expanding and adapting our resources and services to meet the public’s changing needs. In 2018, the Library was awarded an EZ Planning grant from the federal Library Services and Technology Act program, administered by the State Library of North Carolina, to conduct a Community Needs Assessment and Strategic Planning Process. A steering committee was formed consisting of key representatives from numerous local organizations as well as other staunch library advocates to guide the Library in moving forward in a way that is most beneficial to our community. For several months this dedicated committee met numerous times to discuss such vital topics as library partnerships, outreach, literacy, and technology.
A survey was conducted to assess what value the community places on various current library resources and services, and to evaluate their priorities in how libraries should serve the community. You may remember taking this survey; the Library made it available electronically and even went out to the community at our neighboring McDonald’s to seek opinions from local residents who may not be regular library users. The results of this survey and insights gained from Strategic Planning Committee meetings were all considered during the Library’s creation of a comprehensive and innovative Strategic Plan for 2019-2024.
The Library identified three areas of focus to use to develop its Plan: Inspiring Creativity, Fostering Learning, and Engaging Community. Examples of established plans to inspire creativity include creating smart spaces within our facilities as well as interactive outside environments, developing culturally diverse programming that appeals to all demographics, and providing innovative technologies. The Library will foster learning by focusing on literacy and workforce development, ensuring that materials and services are easily accessible to everyone, and cultivating leadership and development for all Library staff. Finally, the Library will engage the community by utilizing effective marketing to demonstrate the Library’s impact, developing and maintaining productive partnerships with other organizations, and advocating for public and private funding sources. To review the full plan, visit your local library or the Library’s website at www.neuselibrary.org.
As a direct result of the information obtained during the strategic planning process, the Library is also currently in the midst of a rebranding campaign. A new logo and website that emphasizes the Strategic Plan’s areas of focus and effectively conveys the priorities identified during the planning process will be unveiled this September.
The Library is deeply appreciative of all the help it received from the community in developing this Strategic Plan. We are confident that this plan will carry us into a future that supports the Library’s mission: to be a center for community connections that provides evolving technologies, programming, and services to meet 21st century literacy needs, while making accessible a collection that is as diverse and intergenerational as the people of Lenoir, Jones and Greene Counties. We look forward to continuing to share new developments that support this mission and our Strategic Plan in this space. For more information about library services or programming, call 252-527-7066, Ext. 134.