2009 Annual Report: Strategic Plan Highlights

Strategic Plan Highlights

Goal 1: Strengthen Early Literacy and Lifelong Learning

Goal 2: Expand Access to Information

Goal 3: Deliver Exemplary Services

Goal 4: Maintain High Quality Collections

Goal 5: Optimize Stewardship of Library Resources


Goal 1: Strengthen Early Literacy and Lifelong Learning


Summer Reading Program
More than 4,000 children participated in the
Summer Reading Program. The library awarded 1,873 books (up 13%), and had to reorder final book prizes five times.

Total program attendance was 2,054, and nearly all of the summer's 112 children's programs were filled.

Every Child Ready to Read
         Children's librarians trained in this research-based early literacy program held parent workshops at the library and at Hannah House Crisis Pregnancy Center, IU Campus Children's Center, Bloomington Area Birth Services, and the IU Conference on Early Childhood Development. A 30-minute video produced by CATS featured comments from parents on how the program helped them to nurture their children's pre-reading skills.

Woman and baby reading
Woman explaining program to girl

A fine option program for children and teens

Library patrons under the age of 18 can now enroll in a reading/literacy program in lieu of payment of fines. "Read It Off" credit earned through each use and return of designated library materials is applied to reduce library fines and fees. In the seven months this new program operated in 2009, the program served 265 youth who otherwise would have been turned away from checkout.

"The Read It Off Program has brought us back to the library. It's one of the best things I've seen at the library."--mother of four

New positions for learning initiatives

An Outreach Programming Librarian provided storytimes and other programming for children, teachers, parents, and caregivers at Head Start and childcare centers.

A full-time Homework Help Librarian allowed the Homework Help Center for Grades K-6 to more effectively serve low-income children. Two MCCSC reading specialists and a math teacher provided training for IU student volunteers.

A new Reference Librarian/Teen Programmer began working on teen services system-wide, building relationships with the Project School and New Tech High School, forming a teen advisory group at the Ellettsville Branch, and strengthening the Math Homework Help program--a partnership with MCCSC and the Monroe County Education Association, which marked 20 years of helping teens.

VITAL tutor survey
VITAL conducted a survey on the experiences of tutors in order to learn what resources and strategies were most successful and what kinds of support were most effective in helping adult learners.
VITAL logo

VITAL participants

Staff member helps teen Job Search Initiative
Monthly Job Search/WorkOne nights provided one-to-one consultations with employment specialists, help navigating Indiana Career Connect, and resume review and interview preparation with HR professionals. Many jobs require online applications, and VITAL and Adult/Teen staff assisted patrons in using library resources and computers.
Job Search logo

Goal 2: Expand Access to Information

80 years of Bookmobile service
A bookmobile has served since 1929 as Monroe County Public Library's rolling branch with scheduled weekly stops throughout the county. Bookmobile circulation this year was 95,017, up 5.5%. The County Council approved the library's 2010 Capital Projects Plan with funding for a new bookmobile to replace the library's 13-year-old vehicle.

Old bookmobile

Local government television

More direct access to local government
Partnering with WFHB Community Radio, Community Access Television Services (CATS) premiered CATS Week, a 30-minute roundup of local government meetings that runs on cable television and is also streamed online. CATS installed an automated digital playback system and added coverage of several government meetings and work sessions.

New interactions through social media
The library created a Facebook page for teens and two blogs, one on reading and the other about movies and music.

For the Love of Reading logo
Legal aid

Legal help at the library
"Lawyers in the Library," a partnership with the District 10 Pro Bono Project, provided legal assistance with court documents for civil cases. The library also partnered with Shalom Community Center's HELP Legal Clinic on a Legal Aid Educational Series.

Training on grant resources
The Indiana Room spread the word about its grants resources, especially the Foundation Center database of grantmakers, with a Grants Open House, programs on "Grants Research for Nonprofits,"  "Grants Research for You and Me," and a "Meet the Grantmakers" workshop for nonprofits cosponsored by the NonProfit Alliance for Monroe County.

Foundation Center logo

Goal 3. Deliver Exemplary Service

Self-service checkout opens

More self-service options
 The "Red Carpet" reopening of Express Check promoted new new options, including payment of fines with the swipe of a credit/debit card, fast keypad entry, renewal of materials, and an added express checkout station. 

Self-service circulation jumped from 22% to 32%. Checkout also got more earth-friendly as the library moved away from plastic bags to reusable green bookbags.

Meeting Patron Needs

The library upgraded projection equipment in the first floor meetings rooms and library auditorium.

Staff processed an all-time high of 2,113 holds for pickup in a single day, double the previous daily average of 1,104 holds.

Staff placed more than 7,000 "Author Alert" holds for patrons when new titles by their favorite authors were added to the collection.

Low income and elderly residents made 943 visits to Volunteer Tax Help, February-April 15, in this community partnership program.

AARP Tax-Aide at work

"The taxpayers we help find the library a wonderful, welcoming place."--AARP Tax-Aide Coordinator

Buried in books

Engaging experiences

Patrons got to Meet Mozart, Decorate a Library Floor, engage in Seusspicious Behavior, enjoy Scaly Tailz and live music programs, learn Cartooning with Joe Lee, explore the roots and legends of country blues through music and film, get "Buried in Books" during the Winter Reading Program, create a unique work during 12-hour Comic Book Day, find out how Worlds Connect @ your library during National Library Week, and much more through MCPL's 1,773 programs.

Technology updated

The library purchased new computer signup/time management software and 47 new computers for the public areas of the Main Library and Ellettsville Branch. Twenty-three employees completed Web 2.0 training to be prepared for questions that patrons ask.

Goal 4: Maintain High Quality Collections

Digital Bookmobile

Downloadable audiobooks take off
Some 200 people toured the Digital Bookmobile, which parked on Lincoln St. one rainy July day with its multimedia learning stations for downloadable audiobooks and mobile devices. The library shortened the loan period for downloadables, made early "virtual return" of titles possible, and by November, circulation rose to 500 titles

Collection development and promotion  

MCPL maintained its commitment to development of the collection at $1 million and was able to fill 87% of patron suggestions for purchase.

The library held three focus groups with patrons who frequently check out movies to learn how to better meet their needs.

Fiesta del Otoño, a partnership event with the City of Bloomington celebrated Hispanic culture and highlighted the library's Spanish-language collection.

To make room for DVDs, the library discontinued videocassettes, no longer used for feature films. The Friends Bookstore held a special VHS sale.


Event in library lobby


Goal 5: Optimize Stewardship of Library Resources

Children's Room Ellettsville Young reader at Ellettsville Children on computers at Ellettsville Family at play in Ellettsville Children's Room

Addition of children's room at Ellettsville Branch
The Ellettsville community gathered at an October open house to celebrate the 2,000 square-foot children's addition. The colorful, light-filled room holds the children's collection, provides computer and play space, and has cozy window seats for quiet reading. The addition made room for a new family area in the existing library space. In November, staff welcomed RBBCSC's kindergarten classes.

Rollergirls in Children's Department

Children's Department renovation

After librarians finished tours for all MCCSC first grade classes in October, the Children's Department closed for a week to prepare the space for construction and to move the department to its "outpost" in the first-floor meeting rooms. The department is getting new paint, carpet, lighting, a colorful and fun entrance, and more. It will reopen in mid-January, 2010.

The Bleeding Heartland Rollergirls starred in a public services announcement on the renovation as they skated and read their way around the empty Children's space.

Phase 2 of the Main Library renovation

Library staff met with architects to plan for Phase 2 of the Main Library renovation. The Materials Security Team received vendor responses for RFID tagging and an automated materials handling system.

Long-range Financial Committee Recommendations
Faced with the loss of $500,000 of County Option Income Tax (COIT) in 2012 when the library's mortgage debt will be paid off, as well as an economic downturn, and a property tax cap, the library formed a Long-range Financial Planning Committee of community experts, staff, and Board members, to make recommendations for sustaining library services. services.

The committee submitted recommendations to the Board related to providing core services efficiently, charging fees for value-added services, and increasing fundraising

The Board adopted the Committee's report in September.



Fast Facts Mission, Vision, and Values
Financials Strategic Plan
Grants and Corporate Gifts Capital Projects Plan
Partnerships & Initiatives 2009 Return on Investment (pdf)