Long Range Plan 2013-2016





Washington County Public Library

Mission Statement

Washington County Public Library, recognizing the power of information and the joy of discovery, will provide a variety of quality resources and programs to meet user needs.


The Board of Trustees and the Library Director created the 2017-2020 Long Range Plan using the 2013-2016 plan as a template. The end result was a report that detailed a strategic plan for the Washington County Public Library.

This plan focuses on:

● Connecting to the online world -- public internet access
● Developing young readers -- early literacy
● Making informed decisions -- health, wealth, and other life choices
● Stimulating imagination -- reading, viewing, and listening for pleasure
● Succeeding in school -- homework help, resources for school
● Creating a comfortable place -- physical and virtual spaces, welcoming physical      
From these items, goals and objectives were created.  This plan will guide the Library’s decision making through 2020. It provides the structure for organizational change, enhanced services, and innovation. It includes recommendations for augmenting our collection; expanding our presence in the community by reaching out to teens, seniors, and the underserved; building partnerships; and making the Library more accessible. We are committed to providing the best possible service to the community. By focusing on the needs identified by the community and examining our internal processes, we will ensure the best allocation of resources and the best delivery of services. This plan will be reviewed regularly and updated as needed.


The Washington County Public Library is an invaluable resource for pleasure reading, education, entertainment and community activities for the over 12,000 residents of Washington County.

The Library is open 52 hours a week except on scheduled holidays. It houses and circulates over 20,000 volumes in the more than 35,000 visits made to the Library. In 2014-2015 more than 7,000 people attend special programs for all ages and community meetings.

The Library has a bookmobile that operates year round, weather permitting, averaging over 10 hours a week in the community.

Library staff is available to help users needing assistance with research, technology, book selection and local history. Users have access to books, periodicals, on-line sources, e-books, audio books, videos and music CDs. At their disposal are 15 computers with high speed, fiber optic Internet access, as well as word processing and spreadsheets.


Library service started in Washington County with a shared “green truck” and one driver, Mrs. Gertrude Smith, shared with Boyle and Casey counties. Two days a week reading material was taken to the public in rural areas. A larger bookmobile replaced the previous one, but the needs of the people were not being supported with the bookmobile alone.

In 1962, a group of civic minded organized to work toward securing a new public Library. With encouragement and advice from Miss Margaret Willis and her staff, the Springfield Women’s Club spearheaded a campaign to obtain a Library tax. The County not only lost the vote but also the bookmobile and all the material included. After several months with no Library service, readers in the community were upset. September 1963, a sample Library was set up in two very small rooms at the old L& N Depot building.

In the spring of 1964, the State Legislature passed the petition tax. As of July 2, 1964, Washington County became an established public Library. District with a levying tax of .07 cents per $100 of assessed property valuation. The Library was moved to the Burns building, where it opened its doors on October 13, 1964.

On April 14, 1966, the ground was broken for the building at 210 East Main Street. For 50 years the Library was at this 4,500 sf. Location. It served the community well, but with technology and usage growing leaps and bounds, a new facility was needed to lead the Library into the future.

A more than 10,300 sf., Washington County Public Library facility at 333 West Main Street, had its grand opening on November 15, 2016.  Besides more square footage, the new Library also has ample parking, rooms dedicated for adult, teens and children’s programming, study rooms for individuals and groups, handicap accessibility, local history/genealogy room, covered bookmobile parking, ample shelving for growth of the collection and space devoted for the staff. The lot that the Washington County Public Library now presides is plentiful enough for outdoor programming potential and future expansion.



Washington County, named after George Washington, was the first county formed after Kentucky became a state in 1792. It has 297.3 miles in land area and a population density of 39.4 per square mile.

In 2015, the population for Washington County was estimated to be 12,063. The county seat is Springfield. On the most recent census form, 96.4% of the population reported white only, with 6.4% of these reporting African-American. The population of this county is 3.6% Hispanic.

Washington County residents, under the age of 18 total 22.9% of the population, and 17.4% is 65 years and over. The average household size is 2.56 persons compared to an average family size of 3.00 persons. The median household income is $40,976 with 17.1% living below the poverty level.

There are approximately 80.2% high school graduates or higher over 25 in Washington County and 14.5% have Bachelor’s degrees or higher.


Number Rank in State % of State State
Population (2014-15) 11,959 80 0.27% 4,413,457
Collection Expenditures $40,628 88 0.20% $20,380,389
Total Book Collection 26,036 98 0.28% 9,170,937
Registered Users 8,958 73 0.35% 2,595,290
People Entering Library 35,428 98 0.19% 18,584,048
Total Material Circulated 56,537 79 0.32% 17,853,984
Number of Internet Users 9,540 90 0.22% 4,404,673
Total Program Attendance 7,261 74 0.33% 2,209,558
Children Program Attendance 5,719 75 0.39% 1,481,367



Goals & Objectives


Goal: The Library’s administration executes the vision, mission and goals created and adopted by the Board of Trustees and makes operation decisions in the best interests of the Library and the community.

1. Fulfill the goals and objectives in this plan.
a. Provide regular progress reports to establish transparency.
b. Define measurable outcomes to document progress.

2. Support changes in services to meet the evolving needs to the community.

3. Identify and evaluate changes in attitudes toward the Library and its services.
a. Develop different types of surveys to obtain feedback.

4. Update procedures annually to provide support and structure for staff, maximizing efficiency of all the Library’s operations.
a. Review and update policies and guidelines annually for all departments.
b. Ensure information and forms are current.

5. Investigate opportunities to connect with other governmental entities within Washington County on community issues.

6. Establish a committee system
a. Establish a Friends of the Library committee.
b. Establish responsibilities and goals for committees through a committee Charter.
c. Recruit two Trustees for participation on committee.
d. Committee reports to the Board every two months.





Goal: The Washington County Public Library Board of Trustees fully supports the mission, vision and goals of the Library. The Board is proactive in the community as advocates for the Library. The Board is transparent and accountable to the public in all its actions.

1. Supports efforts to maintain the Library’s status as an “Enhanced Library” in accordance with the standards approved by the Kentucky Public Library Association.

2. Support development and growth of Library services that exceed the expectations of patrons and community.
a. Identify and achieve best practices while maintaining excellence in the core functions of the Library.
b. Encourage the Library Director and Staff to develop and maintain relationships with members of regional, state and national associations and libraries.

3. Implement the strategic plan over a five-year timeframe.
a. Set annual expectations for the Library Director and Staff.
b. Report progress and challenges to the community annually.
c. Deploy and leverage financial resources to achieve measurable results.

4. Follow recommendations of the Kentucky Auditor of Public Accounts for non-governmental taxing entities.
a. Annually review the most current recommendations and address all deficiencies.

5. Actively pursue opportunities to improve skills and knowledge to govern the Library as a member of the Board of Trustees.
a. Attend educational training/workshops to improve communication and leadership skills.
b. Attend state and national-level conferences to learn about best practices and successful innovation.

6. Build trust and confidence among key community stakeholders.
a. Support projects to address specific needs in the community.
b. Represent the Library at appropriate civic, fiscal and other public meetings.

7. Expand the Board’s role in community relations during regular meetings.
a. Engage the community at select events.

8. Engage in legislative priorities as determined by the Kentucky Public Library’s Association’s Advocacy Committee.

Goal: The Library is a good steward of the funds entrusted to its care. The Library leverages its resources to achieve its mission, vision and goals in an efficient manner. The Library is transparent and accountable for its financial resources.

1. Clearly and accurately represents the financial condition of the Library for the community.
a. Provide annual financial reports to the community.

2. Report collaborative agreements, grants and partnerships annually.
a. Indicate how various relationships leverage resources and expand the Library’s reach into the community.





Goal: The Library seeks to improve the quality of the overall collection.  The Library seeks opportunities to expand services and products to meet the changing needs of the community.

1. Increase circulation by 3% over the next three years.
a. Experiment with various measures to increase circulation in all categories.
b. Focus purchasing decisions on the Library’s role as a popular materials lending library.
c. Increase marketing of items in the collection.

2. Increase the number of Library-owned e-materials by 3% to improve the breadth and depth of the collection in the next three years.
a. Evaluate the entire e-collection on general popularity.

3. Exceed patron expectation in obtaining requested materials.

4. Maintain a well-balanced collection for all readers.
a. Ensure the Library remains up-to-date with popular and requested material in multiple formats.
b. Review and update the collection development policy annually.
c. Weed on a regular, rotating basis to ensure all parts of the collection are reviewed bi-annually.
d. Monitor pre-publication sources, such as professional journals, popular magazines, social media, and media outlets to anticipate demand.
e. English as a Second Language material purchased and placed in a noticeable area.

5. The Library will be cost efficient in processing and circulating material.
a. Evaluate process for getting materials ready for circulation annually.
b. Evaluate processes, supplies and ordering for cost efficiency annually.

6. Annually evaluate databases for use and value to the patron.




Goal: The Library is focused on delivering clear, relevant and timely messages to its patrons and residents of Washington County through all of its marketing efforts and communication platforms.

1. Intensify efforts to demonstrate the Library’s impact on the community through its programs and services.
a. Deliver key messages to tell the Library’s story in terms that are relatable.

2. Be proactive in identifying potential areas of the concern to develop messages for the staff and public in relatable ways.

3. Communicate directly with the Library’s key constituencies
a. Develop an action plan to reach each audience.

4. Expand the frequency and type of messages available on multiple digital platforms.

5. Design marquee with digital display for Library sign.
a. Effectively manage the Library’s use of marquee.

6. Create a plan and a schedule for utilizing the Library’s outreach promotional tools such as banners, display boards and tablecloths.






Goal: The Library provides a facility that is adequate, comfortable, accessible and well-maintained. The Library seeks to meet or to exceed the minimum standards for facilities as defined by the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives.

1. Create ad 10-year facilities plan for renovating and repairing the building and associated equipment.
a. Conduct annual visual inspections of facilities.
b. Identify areas of concern for annual budgeting.

2. Assess safety and traffic concerns for the Library.
a. Address any parking lot traffic flow and maintenance issues.

3. Create and implement a plan to better utilize the facility.
a. Determine possibilities of meeting room space.
b. Identify ways to provide basic services in underserved areas of Washington County.

4. Improve the overall experience of patrons using our computers or their personal devices while at the Library.
a. Provide comfortable, device-friendly spaces.

5. Review contracts annually for efficiency and cost effectiveness.






Goal: The Library employs the highest quality staff for completing its mission. Salaries and benefits are competitive and commensurate with experience and education for each position. The Library retains exemplary staff through a welcoming culture.

1. Provide excellent service with sincerity, professionalism and courtesy in all dealings with staff and public.
a. Promote a culture of exceeding expectations.
b. Recruit and retain competent employees.

2. Improve and provide training for all staff to establish a culture that builds employee confidence.
a. Develop and implement a comprehensive approach to “onboarding” all new staff.
b. Encourage staff to attend external workshops or training.
c. Identify new ways to motivate employees.

3. Seek volunteers, when appropriate, to extend staff’s efforts to provide improved services and programs.
a. Actively recruit volunteers to assist staff at special programs and events or with department tasks.
b. Develop and process to make sure volunteers feel welcome and appreciated.

4. Contain personnel costs by evaluation staffing needs annually.
a. Monitor the workflow and skill needed to adequately cover staffing requirements for programs and services.
b. Motivate and retain quality employees by increasing hours of part-time to full-time hours as needed and as budget allows.
c. Add new positions to focus on specific needs of the organizations as needed and as budget allows.

5. Reward staff for self-improvement.
a. Encourage staff to seek self-improvement opportunities, modeling the life-long learning message of the Library.
b. Establish ways to acknowledge employees for outstanding service.




Goal: The Library will provide programs and services that are consistently available to the whole community. The Library will change or expand basic services as needs emerge. The library will also provide targeted programs and services to address specific community needs.

1. Conduct a holistic assessment of the Library’s current programs and services.
a. Conduct a yearly evaluation to assess all programs in terms of content, attendance and usefulness.
a. Identify basic services provided during all open hours.
b. Identify gaps in programming and services in the community.

2. Identify opportunities to expand or develop specific services.
a. Extend traditional services to underserved or marginalized populations (including age, gender, ethnic and special needs).
b. Encourage staff to experiment with new ideas in programs and services.

3. Reinforce and solidify the Library’s role in improving kindergarten readiness among preschool children.
a. Aggressively pursue additional outreach to all preschool age children.
b. Develop new programs and products that support early literacy.

4. Build and expand relationships with schools to fill resource gaps for teachers and students.
a. Increase awareness of the Library as a possible partner with school administrators and teachers.
b. Collaborate with principals and teachers on new ways to work together.
c. Build and expand relationships with the homeschool population.

5. Increase community partnership projects that promote the Library’s mission and goals.

6. Increase public awareness of Library programming opportunities.




Goal: The Library fully embraces the technology revolution. The Library will increase its presence as a technology hub that delivers digital information and resources to the community.

1. Conduct technology audit.
a. Create a baseline for services currently provided.

2. Become a dependable, knowledgeable technology hub recognized throughout the community.
a. Create a five-year technology plan to position the Library as a technology hub.
b. Establish the Library as a primary point of access for the community to learn and improve technology skills.

3. Improve, integrate, and simplify the Library’s online presence.
a. Research development of a single entry point for user logins and passwords with customized user-generated settings that extend across all online platforms.
b. Make Library card applications, Community Room applications, Inter-Library Loan Requests and other service paperwork available online.

4. Offer multiple training platforms and opportunities to familiarize the public with technology.
a. Provide an array of classroom and individual training.

5. Create and implement a technology equipment expansion and replacement plan.
a. Identify needs over a five-year cycle.
b. Research credit/debit card payment possibilities for both printing and desk receipts.
c. Research wireless printing to public printer.

6. Create messaging to explain the community’s need for technology and the role the Library in leading the charge to provide these services as a core value of its mission.
a. Highlight awareness of the digital divide and its impact on the community.




Purpose: To foster community awareness support and enrichment of the resources and services of the Library and provide for sharing interest and enthusiasm for literacy.

Membership:  Membership shall be open to any person interested in the purpose of the Library, and will be volunteers, upon payment of dues.

Meetings:  The committee will meet on a regular basis at specific times and dates. Meetings are subject to Kentucky’s Open Meeting Act as provided by KRS 61.805. Minutes will be kept of their meeting. Meeting dates and times should be specified as far in advance as possible. The committee will provide copies of the minutes of meetings to the Library Board.

Responsibilities and Duties: The Committee shall:
1) Foster greater awareness of and an appreciation of the Library;
2) Recruit interested community and promote Friends’ membership;
3) Develop a charter and by-laws for the Friend of the Washington County Public Library Chapter;
4) Help promote Library programs cosponsored by the Friends;
5) Represent the Friends at cosponsored Library programs;
6) Join and participate with the Friends of Kentucky Libraries;
7) Dissolve the Committee and operate under Chapter Charter.






Budget & Finance
Consider the use of only the checking account for deposits. No longer requiring money to be transferred each pay period to cover invoices and payments.

Budget & Finance/Communications & Public Relations
It would be advisable to have a line item for publicity. In this regard, it would not be for use of advertising job openings or other legal requirements, put specifically for programming advertisement.

We need to expand and update collections, including children’s picture books, chapter books, graphic novels (manga/anime), DVDs, music CDs and gaming.

The Library will more easily meet Kentucky Library Standards with a second MLIS (or equivalent) degreed staff member. At this time a Children’s Librarian or Youth Services Librarian would be suggested, but possibly an Assistant Manager in the future. 

Part time staff will be the personnel of the future due to the rising increase of benefits paid for full time status.  Future part time staff must be flexible and dedicated to working to advocate for the Library and participate in advancing the Library into the next years.

Maintain a strong program offering for teens, children, adults and seniors that centers around quality and not quantity.  Collaboration with the schools, local groups, businesses, and neighboring libraries to expand services in a cost-effective way will assist with getting the foot traffic we have for the door count in for a learning experience.