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ACPL Invites Community To Participate In Planning Survey

The Allen County Public Library has launched a strategic planning survey to gather feedback from the Allen County community about the library’s collection, services, programs, and role in the community. This data, both qualitative and quantitative, will be combined with other community demographic data, as well as library data and regional and national trend information, to inform the library’s upcoming strategic plan.

The library’s most recent strategic plan launched in 2018 and expired at the beginning of 2023. A 2017 community survey was utilized then as well.

For the 2024-29 strategic plan survey, the library’s leadership chose to employ additional tactics to get the word out. The survey launched on July 20 and has already received more than 5000 responses from both library users and folks who are not already engaged with the library.

This year, the library also engaged the services of Petra Solutions, Inc., a local consulting firm that helps companies actively include diverse and multicultural audiences in business strategies. The company’s lead, Irene Paxia, also enlisted the assistance of local researcher, Andrew Downs, of Andrew Downs Consulting to conduct an extensive study of the library’s presence and potential impact in immigrant and refugee communities throughout Allen County. The company’s findings were presented at the July 27 Library Board of Trustees meeting.

“As we embarked upon strategic planning, we wanted to gather the thoughts of not only our strongly engaged and active patrons, but also the experiences and needs of audiences who are not already connected with us,” said Executive Director Susan P. Baier. “Of course, we want to continue to be the incredible library system that Allen County has come to rely upon, but we also want to grow into the system it wants and needs for the future. This means we need to engage with the audience who aren’t already coming through our doors and find ways to meet them where they are.”

The 2023 survey will be available until August 9 at acpl.info/survey.

The Allen County Public Library has fostered lifelong learning and discovery in northeast Indiana for more than 125 years. The ACPL consists of fourteen branches throughout Allen County, serving more than one million visitors per year. The ACPL’s collection includes more than 2.7 million items, with a circulation total of 3.6 million items borrowed annually. It also houses The Genealogy Center, the nation’s largest public genealogy research center, and The Rolland Center for Lincoln Research, consisting of more than 20,000 artifacts related to President Abraham Lincoln.

The Waynedale News Staff
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