As mentioned in a previous post, there are several steps to planning. This post will consider the Library’s mission and vision.
A mission is defined by Webster’s New Ideal Dictionary as “a task or function assigned or undertaken”. Mission statements need to be concise (it is best that they be two sentences or less) and be able to convey the core purpose of the institution. This is no easy task. The Williamsburg Regional Library’s mission statement, ” Free access to information is a foundation of democracy. The Williamsburg Regional Library, a basic government service, provides that access through resources and programs that educate, enrich, entertain, and inform every member of our community.”, is a reaffirmation of the role that public libraries play in the provision of information to all citizens. It also highlights the importance of access to information as an essential part of citizen participation in a democratic society. This mission statement is the result of considerable discussion by library staff, board and community members at our planning sessions for the first strategic plan. It has stood the test of time.
The library’s mission statement also reminds us that that information comes in a variety of forms and is received through all our senses. Thus, a story-hour program, a community discussion opportunity, or a musical concert is as valuable a conduit of information as reading a book, viewing a DVD or looking at a newspaper or magazine. Sometimes this is forgotten and all of us suffer as a result.
A vision in the sense that the Williamsburg Regional Library uses the term is “a mental image produced by the imagination”. In other words, a vision is what collectively, our staff, board of trustees and community would like the Library to be. The library’s vision statement;”The Williamsburg Regional Library inspires people of all ages and backgrounds to expand their knowledge, pursue their dreams, and enjoy the rich cultural tapestry of our world. The Williamsburg Regional Library enriches the life of our community by encouraging and supporting interaction among all our residents.”, indicates that collectively we have a desire to inspire and enrich the lives of our citizens.
During the course of our strategic plan, the Williamsburg Regional Library is working to achieve this vision trough a set of strategic directions that are based upon community input, community demographics and our mission statement and core values. What are our core values? For this you will have to wait until a later post.
So long for now!