The Banks Public Library. Photo: Chas Hundley

BANKS - The Banks Public Library released a three-year strategic plan it will follow which will allow the library’s staff to “continue engagement with community members, seek feedback, and be responsive in the action it takes to fulfill the goals set out in this plan,” BPL DIrector Denise Holmes wrote in a message to the Banks City Council.

The library’s strategic plan began forming in the fall of 2018 when a volunteer group of community members came together with the library board using the American Public Library Association Planning for Results as its development model.

The group held two meetings last fall, and in those meetings, they discussed the state of the city of Banks, its vision, including long-term and short-term goals, and how the library could continue to make a difference in the community.

The group started by reviewing 13 different potential service priorities and narrowed their focus to three top priorities: service response; library service response goals and objectives; and organizational competencies.

The library’s strategic plan says its overarching goal is to provide all residents, especially new residents, information about community services, events, and local networks.

The plan additionally states the library’s main objectives are to connect the community to the history of Banks and the region through programs and opportunities for residents to learn, and to also provide people the ability to explore their own family histories; and to connect people with local organizations and agencies to ensure the community is aware of all programs and services offered by the library and its external partners.

And as always, encouraging and creating young readers and early, emerging literacy remains a top priority for the Banks Public Library. The now-updated strategic plan outlines how the library will support those programs, such as preschool story time, toddler time, and summer reading programs -- not just for youngsters but for readers of all generations.

“All ages will find the materials and programs that excite their imaginations and provide pleasurable reading, viewing, and listening experiences," the strategic plan states.

The plan also lists the library’s organizational competencies, which differ from goals in that competencies address the library’s infrastructure and operations as opposed to its overall goals, which focus on the delivery of effective services to the public.

For instance, the Banks Public Library has several external partnerships that help it reach out to all corners of the community. Through many of those partnerships, the library, which is a department of the city of Banks, is able to develop fundraising opportunities outside of the annual financial support it receives through various efforts of the Friends of the Banks Public Library.

“I would like to express my thanks to the library staff, library board, and all the community members who gave of their time and energy to bring about this (new strategic) plan, and who continue to help make the Banks (Public) Library a truly valuable resource for this community,” Holmes said.

The Banks Public Library Strategic Plan, as well as a statement from Holmes, is available to read in its entirety in the Banks City Council April 9 agenda packet, which is available online on the city’s website.