HARLINGEN — Like many institutions, public libraries have struggled with the disruptive innovation of new technology.
But this week, the Harlingen Public Library Board signed off on a strategic five-year plan that embraces the changing ways we communicate.
The five-year plan covers growing and sustaining readers, training library patrons in technology, improving accessibility to library programs, enhancing the library experience and working on staff development.
“I have this vision of taking the library to the community,” library Director Dauna Campbell said yesterday. “We are a destination place, but we don’t have to be just that.
“We can take the library to where they are, and show them what we have online and what resources we have to offer,” she said.
Much of what is in the Harlingen library plan mirrors recommendations made by the American Library Association, the national umbrella for public libraries across the country.
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Goal 1: Grow and sustain readers and lifelong learners
Expand programs to promote reading for enjoyment and learning
Pursue events that reflect community interest
Strengthen youth literacy programs
Remain focused on collection development
Goal 2: Establish the library as social hub
Work to meet user needs
Promote services using social media
Better marketing of what the library is and does
Goal 3: Innovative technology and training
Improve access to and patron understanding of tech
Improve digital infrastructure by increasing bandwidth, computer numbers
Improve digital holdings
Goal 4: Improve accessibility within community
Enhance the library experience
Better access to underserved areas of city
Goal 5: Staff Development
Train staff to answer tech needs
Develop staff well-trained in digital services
Develop staff well-trained in customer service, needs analysis, communication skills and more
Continue to evaluate staffing needs
Improve productivity by reassessing procedures
Source: Strategic Plan for 2016-2021