FIVE YEAR PLAN
Five Year Plan for the Blake Memorial Library 2009-2014
(I) History of the library: In 1893, three young men, Charles Page, Bert Holland, Sr., and Ruthven Rowland, decided the town needed a library. They located a room and installed shelves, then went around with a wheelbarrow, asking for contributions of books. A site for the building, on the slope across the road from the general store, was acquired in 1900. Next came the big task of raising money to construct a new library. The Blake family, former residents, who had kept close ties though they had moved to Boston, took up the challenge and not only financed the building, but, in time, endowed it. Then tragedy struck when the fine old stone structure burned to the ground in 1945. The only books remaining were those in circulation at the time. Once again the Blake’s lent a generous helping hand, and raised a brick building from the ashes, “a beacon light in the country,” as Almira Blake Gendrot had called it in a 1921 letter to the Library Association. Today the library is run by a board of trustees drawn from the towns of Corinth and Topsham, and offers to the community a wide range of opportunities and services.
(II) Original Mission Statement of the Blake Memorial Library Association as stated in Bylaws: “The purpose of the Association is to maintain a public library in the village of East Corinth to serve the people of East Corinth and the vicinity.”
(III) Proposed Mission Statement: The Blake Memorial Library will provide basic library services, including print and non-print resources and technological access to information. The library will offer programs and activities that will be of interest to all age groups and will ensure that the library is a community center. In carrying out its mission, the library will be maintained as a facility that is comfortable and accessible and will have a staff that is friendly and helpful.
(IV) The planning process: With the assistance of the State Department of Libraries, the Board of Trustees approved the a planning process which would lead to the creation of a five-year plan for Blake Memorial Library and appointed a Long-Range Planning Committee composed of Trustees and community members.
In March of 2008, three community meetings were held, during which participants were asked three basic questions: (a) what is the library doing well? (b) What could the library improve? (c) What services should we concentrate on in the next five years?
Thirty people, in addition to members of the committee, attended these meetings in person. Ten other people sent written comments. The Board reviewed the results of these meetings and appointed two Trustees to work with the Library Director to draft a five-year plan. The Trustees approved this plan on August 18, 2009.
(V) Goals for the next five years:
(1) Patrons and community members will have access to current and relevant print and non-print resources and information available through computerized technology or through the services of the library staff.
(2) Patrons and community members will have opportunities to participate in programs that enrich their lives, expand their knowledge, and encourage their reading.
(3) Patrons and community members will have easy access to a facility that is comfortable and welcoming.
(VI) Objectives for Goal #1: Patrons and community members will have access to current and relevant print and non-print resources and information available through computerized technology or through the services of the library staff.
1a—Increase the participation of young adults/high school students in use of library
--increased circulation of young adult material
--active online young adult community (“blog”)
1b—Expand our communication with the public regarding the library’s resources,
through the widest variety of methods, including increased use of the library
--continue expanding and updating the library website
--add a counter to the website to track visitations
1c---Develop a technology policy that addresses public access, including the issue
of website filtering.
--monitor our policy regarding technology
--maintain ongoing communication with other libraries, with Vermont Department
of Libraries, and with American Library Association regarding issues
of public access and confidentiality
1d---Maintain and improve the library’s technology (hardware and software)
--develop a plan for improvement of library technology (in 2009)
--access grants for technology improvement
Objectives for Goal #2: Patrons and community members will have opportunities to participate in programs that enrich their lives, expand their knowledge, and encourage their reading.
2a—Increase the participation of young adults/high school students in library programs.
--establish a “teen council” that would plan and carry out programs
--host monthly programs targeted at young adults and high school students
2b---Expand ways that the library can provide services to all of our community’s school age children
--establish and maintain contact with staff at Waits River Valley School
--explore ways that the library can communicate with other area schools
2c---Increase programs and resources designed for community groups with unique
needs, such as home-school families, senior citizens who are house-bound,
and adults with literacy issues.
--identify needs of these particular community groups (in 2010)
--develop a plan based on the identified needs (in 2011)
--initiate local programs OR be a resource to enable these groups to access
regional or statewide programs to meet identified needs (in 2012)
2d--- Increase resources designed for community members who have special
interests (such as hunting, ATVs, gardens, particular social issues, etc.)
--increase our capacity to meet needs of people with a variety of special
--develop a policy on use of our facility by special groups
--make facility available for educational events related to these special interests
Objectives for Goal #3: Patrons and community members will have easy access to a facility that is comfortable and welcoming.
3a—The facility will have spaces that are comfortable and useful for a variety of a
--find funding or invite donations for downstairs space, including furniture and
new lighting (in 2009)
3b---Plans will be developed to expand parking space near the facility.
--develop a plan to expand wintertime parking (in 2009)
--implement the plan (in 2010)
--increase year-round parking by five spaces (by 2013)
3c--The bathroom will be handicapped accessible. (2012)
3d--Plans will be developed to make the downstairs rooms handicapped accessible. (2013)
(VII) Fund-raising in order to achieve these objectives listed above. More specifically,
this means we will:
a. develop a program that will encourage patrons, community members and
friends of the library to include the library in their giving as they make
decisions pertinent to their estate planning.
b. develop a program that will encourage patrons, community members, and
friends of the library to make major gifts to the library.
c. develop a plan to increase tax support from the towns of Topsham and Corinth.
d. Increase the variety of fund-raising activities, including regular fund-raising
events, occasional letters of appeal, and, eventually, a capital fund campaign.