Greenwich Library Launches New Strategic Plan


Greenwich Library’s Board of Trustees unanimously adopted a new five-year strategic plan. Entitled “Greenwich Library Renewed,” it charts the future course of this venerable community institution.

“This plan is truly a culmination of the work of many minds,” said Barbara Ormerod-Glynn, Library Director.  “Trustees; the Friends of the Greenwich, Byram Shubert, and Cos Cob Libraries; and staff spent over a year scrutinizing statistical information and surveys of our community, and studying library trends and best practices.”

The end result is Greenwich Library Renewed, which offers a flexible plan that identifies five key focus areas—Collections, Lifelong Learning & Enrichment, Service, Space, and Community Connections—and ten strategic initiatives.

“The initiatives are designed to be flexible,” said Rob Marks, President of the Library’s Board of Trustees. “They can encompass multiple projects in specific key areas which will improve our already great, nationally ranked five-star library.” 

The following ten initiatives are indentified in the Plan:

  1. Deliver collections and resources of exceptional depth and breadth that reflect the interests of our community.
  2. Encourage a passion for reading in people of all ages through exploration and personal discovery.
  3. Think comprehensively about library programming and offer high-quality, culturally rich programs that reflect community needs and interests.
  4. Support contemporary skill development and literacy of all kinds.
  5. Enhance the user experience by meeting patron needs, when and where they occur, applying both technology and a human touch.
  6. Identify and build staff core skill sets to meet changing and expanding demands for service.
  7. Create accessible, engaging, and flexible library spaces.
  8. Reimagine spaces for greater community connections and cultural enrichment.
  9. Enhance our ability to provide tailored services by understanding and engaging our community.
  10. Advance partnerships that build on our strengths and help us address the needs of our community.

Greenwich Library has already begun a slate of projects to execute these initiatives. “One initiative is to meet patron needs, when and where they occur,” said Ormerod-Glynn, “Patrons these days carry little cash and are accustomed to making payments online. We found that after we launched credit card payments for fines and fees at the Library last year that patrons embraced the new service. We are now expanding this program to allow patrons to pay online remotely.”

In addition, an express collection will be piloted at the Cos Cob Branch Library. The collection will include the titles in the highest demand, making them available to patrons more quickly since they have shorter due dates, no renewals, and can’t be put on hold. “These titles will be available on a first-come, first-served basis,” said Ormerod-Glynn. “This way there will almost always be bestselling titles available physically at the Library.” If the pilot is successful, it is likely to be expanded.

Another focus area of the Strategic Plan is to reimagine, renew, and repurpose the Main Library and indeed the Greenwich Library system, for future generations.

A new Master Plan for the Main Library is close to being finalized. This Plan, which touches every floor, will bring flexibility and greater connectivity to the building. The creation of an educational and cultural center, a Grand Reading Room, a doubling of the Children’s Program Room, a bright and open café with indoor and outdoor seating, and a renovated auditorium are just a few features of this ambitious project. In addition, a special committee has been formed to explore the spatial needs of the Cos Cob Branch Library.

“Now more than ever, people see the Library as a ‘third place’– the civic center of the community. As a society, we spend a lot of time online – and in response, we see our patrons craving a warm, accessible, community-oriented space where they can come to connect with others; or to work, read, or even be online in the presence of other people. You’re going to see dramatic changes in our library spaces in the coming years as we embrace this role and create spaces that support these desires,” said Ormerod-Glynn.

To read the complete Strategic Plan, please visit greenwichlibrary.org/strategy.

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