Mission and Long Range Plan: 2011 – 2016

Mission Statement

The mission of the Marian J. Mohr Memorial Library is to provide for the cultural, educational, informational, and research needs of all members of the community through books and media, reference service, technological resources, public programs and meeting space. The Library is committed to excellence as a resource for patrons to gain enrichment, become informed, and pursue their goals.

Community Needs Statement

Johnston is a suburban community in the northwestern part of Rhode Island , between suburban and rural areas to the north and west and the urban communities of Cranston , North Providence and Providence to the south and east. The region was part of Providence beginning in 1636, and Johnston was incorporated in 1759. Historical landmarks include the house of the area's first settler, Thomas Clemence, and a soapstone quarry worked by settlers and earlier by Native Americans. The area was dominated by farms from its early history into the twentieth century. Manufacturing also became important in the mid-1800s with the establishment of several mills that influenced the communities around them. Italian immigrants brought their family members to America , and provided help and friendship, contributing to the growth of a large Italian-American community that continues to be important today. In the late 1800s Olneyville separated from Johnston and joined Providence , taking with it over half the population in a small densely populated and urban area. That area included a magnificent public library. Johnston would go without its own library for the next sixty years.

Johnston began to grow dramatically since the middle of the twentieth century, doubling between then and 2000. According to the U.S. Census, Johnston 's population grew 6.3% between 1990 and 2000, with Johnston now ranked 11th among cities and towns in Rhode Island . Ethnic minorities have grown from two to almost four percent of the total population. During recent years the community has grown economically and in educational attainment. Jobs were gained in many areas. Overall, the types of jobs available make Johnston similar to average Rhode Island communities.

There has been a concerted effort to attract businesses to Johnston and many new ones have opened along Atwood Avenue near the library. Johnston is a community with many good schools that cooperate with the library and many families and adults who take advantage of library services and programs.

The Marian J. Mohr Memorial Library was established by Ralph Mohr and others in 1960 as a library for the people of Johnston . In 1964 it became a municipal public library, possibly to qualify for new state funding. It was built next door to a school, and soon found itself next-door to the middle school and high school, creating special problems and opportunities throughout its history. In spite of a building that has [had] become inadequate relative to the size of its community, the library has [had] a large and well-used collection, extensive programs and well-developed services. After a decade of advocating by library staff and supporters, the Town built a new library facility set to open in 2011.

Primary Goals

1. Develop and maintain collections of books and media according to high standards and relevant to the needs and desires of the community.

2. Facilitate the use of Library resources with professional staff and technology.

3. Present public programs that promote reading, support the pursuit of knowledge, or contribute to the culture of the community.

4. Offer free public meeting space with limits that are fair and impartial to allow the Library to best serve the whole community.

Supporting or Secondary Goals

1. Cooperate with other municipal departments, local agencies, and schools to pursue the best use of public funds and to find new opportunities to serve.

2. Cooperate with the larger library community to which Mohr Library belongs, specifically Ocean State Libraries (OSL), the public library consortium of Rhode Island , and the Library of Rhode Island (LORI), the network of all Rhode Island libraries coordinated by the state Office of Library and Information Services (OLIS).

3. Understand the needs and desires of people in the community as they relate to the Library.

4. Increase awareness of Library resources and services.

Objectives

Develop the collection to maximize usefulness and value.

Use a number of methods according to the Library's selection policy to maintain a collection of materials and electronic access to resources that make the library a vital resource for the community. Record current reference queries to gauge interests, systematically compare the collection to core lists to identify weak areas, scan established sources of reviews, analyze usage in other libraries and demand among booksellers, and evaluate patron requests as input for collection development. Identify priorities to keep a collection strong that cannot grow.

Increase awareness of the library's acquisitions and learn what draws attention.

On new end-of-aisle shelving installed for displays, offer new materials and materials on various themes. Develop automated systems to provide feedback.

Continue to offer relevant public programming for adults, families, teens, and children.

Organize regular programs for adults or general audiences. Offer regular book discussions. Offer seasonal weekly story hours for preschool children and toddlers. Offer family-oriented special programming and special events for children throughout the year. Experiment to identify areas of interest for new programs aimed at teens. Continue to develop afterschool programs and support volunteer tutors. Continue to organize summer reading programs for children, teens, and adults.

Maintain outreach.

Seek opportunities to give booktalks, readings or story hours in schools, the senior center and other locations. Outreach is one of the ways we fulfill our mission to provide public programs, and also helps us learn about the people we serve, and cooperate with other agencies for the benefit of the community.

Post news of library events and services.

Advertise regularly in the local weekly paper. Produce and distribute a newsletter concerning the library's efforts and events. Use the library website, email lists, social networking and other online tools to communicate library programs and services.

Maintain technological resources.

Provide eleven to twelve workstations and laptops for public database use, internet access, word processing and other general-purpose software, or games with educational value. Maintain several stations for online catalog only. Maintain public computer printers, scanners and photocopiers. Maintain staff computers as necessary for cataloging and circulating materials and to support reference work. Maintain wireless access for public use of the internet on compatible devices. Implement wireless access on staff and board laptops for increased flexibility in providing computer workshops, and processing or inventorying library materials.

Expand collections of electronic materials available for loan to library patrons. Offer free loan of devices necessary to listen or view contents, promote and assist use of electronic content.

Facilitate use of library resources by working to enable patrons.

Refine labeling and signage systems to aid tracking of items. Offer help with library resources in print or electronic formats. Give workshops for library users in using computers and becoming computer literate.

Encourage and support attendance at relevant conferences and meetings by librarians and library workers.

All staff should regularly attend consortium meetings and state-sponsored workshops relevant to their duties. Budget for travel expenses and costs for professional conferences for librarians and allow for scheduling of work time at meetings.

Survey the community.

Conduct or arrange to have conducted at least one survey during the coming years to learn more about the interests of members of the community in regard to areas where the library's mission would allow it to serve.

Increase cooperation with other organizations.

Work for better communication with municipal departments, schools whose students use Mohr Library, and local agencies to maximize the value of our offerings to the community. As part of cooperation with schools, churches and local courts, provide supervised volunteer work situations for people seeking to do community service.

Evaluation

This plan shall be subject to regular annual evaluation and revision by the Board of Trustees, in addition to regular review of any item addressed in this plan. The annual review shall include re-examination of the objectives and compared with actual measures accomplished showing the progress in implementing this plan. In the fifth year, a complete review and/or revision shall be done of the plan.

Adopted by the Board of Trustees November 5, 2008, rev. April 14, 2010, rev. March 2, 2011