Strategic Plan

Where Ideas Thrive, BPL's Strategic Plan, 2016-2020

As long as libraries have existed, we have collected, classified, and shared ideas and the product of ideas with others. In doing so, libraries have provided rich ground for new ideas to take root and grow.

It's an exciting time to be a library as we evolve and expand beyond our traditional roles. Now more than ever, libraries are communal creativity hubs that encourage people to imagine, explore, and try new ideas—in our spaces and along with us.

In 2015, to help us define and prioritize the next four years of our development, we asked you to share your ideas with us. We took every comment and suggestion to heart and, through the planning process, reaffirmed our belief in the power of an engaged community. Thank you to every Burlington resident and community stakeholder who generously shared your views and ideas with us. Where Ideas Thrive is our roadmap to 2020.

Do you have a concern about your library experience? Suggest an idea to help resolve the issue. Maybe you've discovered something new that relates to BPL. Let's work together to make Burlington Public Library even better. Watch for opportunities to contribute your ideas during the next strategic planning period, starting in 2019.

Part 1 Background research & collecting ideas

  • We gathered information about and from the community we serve in two ways: we hit the books and the Internet, and we hit the streets:
    • A staff team representing every level of the Library examined scholarly and popular journals and websites, and investigated information from professional associations, libraries and other cultural organizations around the globe, and the public sector.
    • They visited the places local residents go (such as shopping malls, grocery stores, community events, schools, the farmer's market, church dinners) and heard from a lot of people.
    • Inside every library branch we invited visitors of all ages to complete the sentence "My library is... " on giant paper banners.
  • Demographic research provided valuable insights on how the population of Burlington is growing and changing, especially for children & youth, Millennials, seniors, newcomers & visible minorities, residents with low income, and people with disabilities. Further research provided an understanding of trends and issues currently and potentially affecting library services, including: funding, spaces, technology, accessibility, diversity, to name a few. The research is summarized in Environmental Scan, March 2016.
  • Intensive community consultation continued with public and staff surveys, and focus groups conducted by Lura Consulting involving local residents, community partners, City of Burlington managers and elected officials, and library staff, volunteers, and Library Board members. All the information was compiled, analyzed, and readied for Part 2 - creating the Plan.

Part 2 Creating the Plan

After nearly six months of gathering relevant and timely information from Burlington residents and community partners, Library leaders sorted through all the data and ideas and identified BPL's key priorities over the next four years.
At a full-day symposium attended by Library trustees, senior managers, and the staff team, a framework for the Plan was built. This included a review of the Library's mission, vision, and values. Once the strategic priorities were set, the management team identified the projects and actions for staff to undertake between 2016 and 2020 to become the library our community wants and needs.

Where Ideas Thrive, Burlington Public Library Strategic Plan 2016-2020