Grand RapidsArea Library

Strategic Plan 2017-2020

Adopted 6/14/2017

The Grand Rapids Area Library completed a comprehensive strategic planning process between April and June of 2017.  Composition of the Planning Team included representatives from the Library Board, Friends of the Grand Rapids Area Library, the Library Program Committee and Library staff. 


A community-based process was utilized, which centered on answering two questions:

 1) What are the pressing needs in our community? and,

 2) What is the library’s role in helping to address those needs?

Major steps included, surveying library patrons, discussions with Library staff, reviewing community demographic data and library statistics, discussing organizational mission, identifying service priorities, and developing detailed action plans for the first year of implementation.


The resulting strategic plan is intended to guide the Library for the next three years, with action plans to be revised annually.  While the goals will remain the same, the methods of achieving those goals may change.  The Library staff and Board will gather each year to review implementation successes and challenges, review goals, revise strategies and project budget needs.


The library’s mission statement:

            The Grand Rapids Area Library fosters a welcoming environment for all that builds a connected, informed, engaged community.


Service Priorities and strategies:


Service Priority 1: Parents will feel supported in preparing their preschoolers for learning success, and primary students will develop a love of reading and learning.

To achieve this the library will:



Service Priority 2: Individuals will be supported in their personal search for knowledge and development of skills and careers.

To achieve this goal the library will:


Service Priority 3: Individuals will have access to online resources that connect them to their community and the world.

To achieve this the library will:


Service Priority 4: Individuals will enjoy varied options that enrich their leisure time, broaden their world view, and inspire their creativity.

To achieve this the library will:


Service Priority 5: Individuals and organizations will experience a comfortable, safe quiet and welcoming place that will allow them to find opportunities to work together, share ideas, discuss and collaborate.

To achieve this the library will:


            These goals will shape the decisions about the library’s budget and implementing specific projects from 2017-2020.  Detailed action plans for the next 12 months were developed.

 To ensure that we are making progress toward each service priority we will measure participation in programs and circulation of materials as well as satisfaction of patrons. The strategies will be reviewed as part of the annual review process.  The library is committed to meeting the needs of the community and will develop services as the needs of the community change. 

Planning Team members:

Library Board: Dennis Jerome,  Shannon Benolken,  Max Peters,  Deborah Kee,  Randy McCarty, Richard Thouin, Sue Ziege,  Friends of the Library: Sandy Hughes, Program Committee: Carrie Thorvig, Library Foundation: Kathy McCarty,  Library Staff: Marcia Anderson, Amy Dettmer, Tracy Kampa, Will Richter, Bonnie Henriksen.