The Thunder Bay Public Library strengthens our community by engaging people in the pursuit of local and global information and knowledge, and promoting literacy, lifelong learning, and leisure.
A Citizen Enlightened
Providing people of all ages, abilities and cultural heritages with the knowledge they need to pursue their goals and dreams.
A Community Engaged
Creating an accessible destination for learning and play that is dedicated to growth, partnerships, innovative programming, and connecting people to information and the world.
A City Enriched
Maintaining and developing services and programs that are relevant to the challenges and needs of our City and our Region.
A Message from the Chief Librarian / CEO, John Pateman
The work on our new Strategic Plan is going well and we have received input from a number of different sources, including the community. We ran a community survey, a staff survey, two community open house sessions, five focus group sessions and four directed interviews. All of this information was then gathered into a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis which identified the main issues and challenges which are facing TBPL.
Some of our major strengths include our staff who are well trained, knowledgeable, friendly and helpful. Our services support the local economy and we provide access to technology and education. We have a wide range of programming and events for children and youth and there is a good distribution of branches. Our traditional lending and infrastructure are very strong and our libraries are valued as community hubs.
In terms of weaknesses, wait and distribution times are too long and hours of operation can be a barrier. We could also improve our communications and Web site interface. Some of our building decor could be made more inclusive and there are a number of internal cultural barriers, inflexible services and policies that are not user-friendly.
The Library has many wonderful opportunities to build community partnerships and improve library buildings - for example, we could offer a coffee shop or cafe. Social media will enable us to reach more people and market what we do, and we can get involved in a number of sustainability and eco-initiatives. Social events, workshops and programs such as The Human Library are very popular and we could lend more kinds of resources such as eReaders, toys, sports equipment and tools. We can also engage with the growing Aboriginal and new Canadian populations.
There are a number of threats - like competition from free online resources, safety and security concerns, parking and rapidly changing technology. There are some potential funding and budget constraints and community needs which may conflict. We need to prepare for our aging population and improve our image through branding and more welcoming environments.
Phase 3 of the Strategic Plan included a PESTLE (Political, Economic, Social, Technology, Legal, Environment) analysis to establish the context and constraints that we are working in. In Phase 4 the issues were prioritized and synthesized into an Action Plan. In the final Phase, a draft Strategic Plan and final report is slated to be ready in late June.
Thank you to everyone who has already contributed to the process via a survey, open house, focus group or directed interview. The Strategic Plan will be the start, rather than the end, of an ongoing community engagement and involvement process. There will be plenty of opportunities for you to get involved in the planning, design, delivery and evaluation of library services, going forward.
We are also forming a Community Action Panel this fall. The Panel is being formed to ensure that the community has a meaningful way to contribute ideas and provide input. The group will begin their work this fall by reviewing the Library's new strategic plan and recommending some concrete actions that will help to deliver on the broad goals contained in the plan. If you are interested in serving on the Panel, pleae email Tina Tucker at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 684-6813.
Please feel free to contact me with your ideas, concerns or suggestions. An ongoing dialogue is critical to ensuring that your Library is serving the needs of the community.
John Pateman, Chief Librarian/CEO
tbpl%23ca|jpateman / 807-684-6802