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Strategic planning

Originally published in the Ketchikan Daily News, September 2022; written by Pat Tully


This Tuesday, September 20 at 6pm, the Ketchikan Public Library will hold a public meeting to present the results of our 2022 Community Survey, and elicit ideas on ways the Library can improve in the next five years. Your input will help us develop the Library’s new strategic plan for 2023-2027.


When we prepared the Library’s current five-year strategic plan in 2017, we could not have imagined the changes made necessary by the pandemic and its aftermath. The broad goals set forth in that plan, however, helped us find safe ways to serve the community during that difficult time.


Here are the goals of the Library’s 2018-22 strategic plan, and a few of our accomplishments over the past five years:


1. The Library is Ketchikan’s Town Square: In collaboration with many partners, including the Friends of the Ketchikan Public Library, the City’s Building Maintenance Department, the Ketchikan Community Foundation, and the Ketchikan Garden Club, we enhanced our physical spaces, creating a Children’s Community Garden, commissioning a memorial bench designed by Larry Jackson, and installing acoustical panels in the Library’s meeting rooms. During the pandemic, the Library distributed masks, hand sanitizer, applications for pandemic assistance, and COVID test kits, as well as helping residents sign up for vaccination appointments.


2. The Library Serves the Ketchikan Community: The Library extended wifi service from one hour to one day, which one patron described as a ‘game-changer’. The Library also offered new items for checkout, including Explorer Kits for people wanting to try new activities such as hiking, beading, knitting or painting. During the pandemic, Library staff distributed at-home craft and activity bags for people of all ages. In 2022, the Library eliminated overdue fines.


3. The Library Engages With the Community: In 2018, Head of Adult Services Lisa Pearson prepared an oncology resource collection at the PeaceHealth Medical Center for patients. Outreach Services Librarian Rebecca Brown organized Senior Tech Talks featuring staff from KPU Telecommunications. The Teen Advisory Group and liaison Kelly Johnson worked with teachers from Kayhi and Revilla to create the Next: Real Life program series, providing high school seniors with information on life after graduation. In 2021 Children’s Librarian Amie Toepfer created a Community Storywalk with Ketchikan Museums, City Fire Department #1, Parnassus Books, and the Ketchikan Wellness Coalition.


4. The Library is a Growing, Vibrant Organization: Several Library staff members moved on over the past five years, and we miss them! We have been able, however, to hire staff members who have brought their own dedication and creativity to the Library.


The Library is greatly indebted to the City and Borough, and to the many organizations and businesses who have collaborated with us to provide innovative services and programs. As the Library develops our new strategic plan, we need input from our community to ensure that we can continue to address Ketchikan’s evolving needs. Thank you in advance for your ideas and support!

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