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Clausen: Planning our future at the Berwyn Public Library

Community Voice

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014 12:54 p.m. CDT
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Tammy Clausen is director of the Berwyn Public Library.

I have been the Berwyn Public Library’s director for over four years now – long enough to see the full cycle of our last strategic plan from creation to completion.

In preparing for our next long-term plan, I want to ensure our collections and services remain relevant. Therefore, the library board and staff have spent considerable time evaluating our priorities and policies to ensure we are resourcefully serving this community.  

Over the last few years, we’ve added all sorts of new programs and services, from e-books and e-magazines to community reading programs, literacy and educational classes, lecture and film series, additional book clubs, off-site programs, computer classes and job searching, to name a few.

We have made improvements to our building, making it more welcoming and energy efficient and, thanks to the support of the George Veverka Fund, we are developing a space plan to redesign the first floor. 

In 2014, we will introduce RFID technology into the check-out and check-in of library materials, and a five-bin sorter will further automate the check-in and sorting process.

What’s missing is a plan that goes beyond next year. Without goals and a timeline, it’s hard to move beyond the urgency of day to day concerns and events. Later this year, we will be seeking community input in the development of an innovative and worthwhile plan that transforms a good library into an exceptional library.

What is it about the library that adds value to your community? What do we do well?  What could we do better? What’s missing? What changes would you like to see in the next five years? Your responses to questions like these will be a first step toward developing a shared vision of who we are and where we should be going.  Once there’s a road map, we will find a way to get there.  

Tammy Clausen is director of the Berwyn Public Library

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