Strategic Plan

2024–27 Strategic Plan

This Strategic Plan presents the Strategic Priorities and Mission that will guide Lake Forest Library for the next three years. The Strategic Plan is grounded in the findings of the 2023 City of Lake Forest Community-Wide Survey (details in the Appendix) and several internal discussions involving the Library Board of Trustees and all Library Staff.

This Plan is a living document designed to inspire positive growth and change, leading to Library enhancements and other benefits to the Lake Forest community. We plan to engage extensively with the Lake Forest community during the planning and implementation stages of this Plan and will update Library Trustees and other community stakeholders on progress on a regular basis. Library Trustees and Staff will also continually review and update the Plan in response to community priorities and changing trends in the library and information landscape.


2021–23 Strategic Plan

The Library is a vibrant and responsive learning center that provides high quality services, deep collections, outstanding educational and cultural programs, and the latest tools and technology for school and life success. While the Library’s primary service population is the residents and businesses of Lake Forest, the Library welcomes and serves residents and non-residents alike in its role to encourage life-long learning, meaningful conversations and engagement, equity, diversity, inclusion, and cultural awareness.

With its outstanding resources, services, and programs, the Library seeks to create a safe, inviting, and fully-accessible environment where users can seek accurate and balanced information to improve their skills, explore a new passion, and learn more about the world.

This 2021–2023 Strategic Plan builds on the important work and goals in the 2017–2020 Strategic Plan. While there are many documented achievements and successes under that Plan, some important initiatives are still ongoing. Building on those open projects and guided by feedback from library users, best practices, and responsible stewardship of the Library and community’s resources, the Library Board and staff developed new objectives to guide the Library’s work through 2023, the anticipated completion date of the Library Capital Improvement Project. Those objectives will guide our work across five primary goals.

Access the 2021–23 Strategic Plan

Strategic Plan Goals

  1. Enhance the user experience

  2. Ensure access to technology and related educational opportunities

  3. Improve Library spaces to ensure accessibility and desired functionality

  4. Enhance awareness of the Library’s role as a community connector

  5. Invest in Library Employees

May 2022 Progress Report

The work done to implement the 2021–23 Strategic Plan through April 30, 2022, advances the Library's pivotal role of providing access to unbiased information, safe spaces for civil discourse, and shared resources to help communities recover and progress from the pandemic and civic discord events of the recent past. Lake Forest Library is pleased to present our Progress Report detailing key takeaways and action highlights for each of the Strategic Plan's five goals.

Access the May 2022 Progress Report

2017–20 Strategic Plan

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:

  1. Enhance the user experience

  2. Ensure accessibility for all Lake Forest residents

  3. Improve Library space to ensure accessibility and desired functionality

  4. 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 provided the Library with an opportunity to measure its progress and realign objectives as needed.*

To learn more, see Executive Summary of the Community Survey and the 2017–19 Lake Forest Library Strategic Plan.

*Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the plan was extended until 2020.

Library Capital Improvement Project

The Strategic Plan highlights the need to enhance the user experience and improve Library space to ensure accessibility and desired functionality. Library staff have made numerous improvements, including creating the Teen Space, moving and reorganizing shelving and materials, and repurposing staff space into public space. But there is a limit to what can be accomplished given the constraints of the building.

The Lake Forest Library Board has been working since 2016 on plans to preserve, renovate, and expand the Lake Forest Library building. The goal of modernizing and upgrading the Library's current space is to create a 21st century library, a welcoming community gathering place, and a revered civic asset.  

For more information about the Capital Improvement Project, visit