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Library district zeroing in on new strategic plan

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By Lynn Burton

Sopris Sun Staff Writer

The Garfield County Public Library district is about half way through a strategic planning process that includes public input sessions beginning in Glenwood Springs on Aug. 5 and concluding in Carbondale on Aug. 27.

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The process, facilitated by JVA Consulting, is focused on creating a strategic vision and marketing plan, district director Amelia Shelley told The Sopris Sun in an e-mail.

Shelley said the strategic vision and marketing plan’s goals are to “determine how we can better reach the under-served and un-served segments of our communities, improve and streamline our existing marketing efforts, optimize our online and social media presence, and generally heighten the visibility of our library services.”

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Shelley said the district will start developing a new strategic plan in November, after the current marketing plan process is complete.

Continuing, Shelley said the district has asked JVA Consulting to incorporate the district’s new vision and mission statements into its marketing efforts, including:

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• Gathering data using demographic research, GIS marketing segmentation, surveys, focus groups and community meetings to identify user groups;

• Facilitating community meetings with key stakeholders including the general public, library users, community leaders and elected officials to test the district’s “organizational values, mission and vision” to be sure they align with the district’s “customers;”

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• Analyzing processes and recommending improvements for existing media and marketing efforts, and;

• Creating a marketing plan that easily communicates the district’s vision, mission and goals to the district’s communities.

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The total cost of the project is not to exceed $25,000, Shelley said.

Since 2007, the Garfield County Public Library district – which operates libraries in Parachute, Rifle, Silt, New Castle, Glenwood Springs and Carbondale – has hired outside consultants to help plan its recently completed district-wide construction projects and create strategic plans. In 2007, at a cost of $53,945, the district’s board of directors hired Dubberty-Garcia to develop construction programs that ultimately resulted in new libraries or library expansion for each of the district’s towns, and to generate data and goals for a strategic plan, Shelley said.

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In 2011, Shelley said she hired Suiter and Associates for $3,627 to facilitate three strategic planning sessions. “We were working on the three years that were dominated by construction activities and felt that doing the majority of the work in- house was appropriate at that time,” she said.

The current strategic plan for 2012-2014 was done mostly in-house, Shelley said.

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The public input session at the Carbondale Branch Library is scheduled for 6 p.m., on Aug. 27. For details, call 963-2889 or go to

The other sessions also start at 6 p.m. at the following libraries:

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• Aug. 5 – Glenwood Springs;

• Aug. 6 – Rifle;

• Aug. 20 – New Castle;

• Aug. 21 – Parachute;

• Aug. 26 – Silt.