During the spring of 2017, the Library conducted a community needs assessment to solicit community feedback and evaluate trends regarding current and future use of the Lake Forest Library. The needs assessment process included a community survey, series of focus groups with Library stakeholders, and conversations with Library staff and administration and the Board of Trustees.
Over 95% of respondents expressed the importance and relevance of the Library in the Lake Forest Community. The respondents also provided valuable feedback on how to create a 21st century institution that serves individuals of all ages and interests.
Following analysis of this community feedback, the following overarching goals emerged for the Library's work going forward:
Enhance the user experience
Ensure accessibility for all Lake Forest residents
Improve Library space to ensure accessibility and desired functionality
Raise the visibility of the Library and its work in the Lake Forest community
In addition to these goals, the community feedback reflected that the Library is a valued asset that plays a vital role in the Lake Forest community, a community that identified family, education, philanthropy, and tradition as its cornerstones.
In September 2017, the Library Board adopted a Strategic Plan in which the four goals are set out with corresponding objectives that are responsive to the themes in the feedback received and conversations held during the community needs assessment process. In identifying the objectives, the Library focused on fiscally responsible actions that are both aspirational and achievable.
The goals together with the identified objectives provide the Library with a strategic direction for the period September 2017–September 2019. This two-year timeline provides the Library a fast approaching opportunity to measure its progress and realign objectives as needed.