Our FY2023-2027 Strategic Plan
Planning for the Future of the Ayer Library
In February of 2021, the Ayer Library began working to develop a new Strategic Plan to help guide our operations for a five year period to begin July 1, 2022. This planning effort represents our first significant attempt to gather information from the community about library services since a 1994 plan that built support for today’s renovated and expanded library building which first opened in 1997.
We hired Barbara Alevras of Sage Consulting Services to facilitate the planning process. Barbara assisted Library Director Tim Silva with the planning and hosting of focus groups and planning exercises for library staff members, the Library’s Board of Trustees and the Friends of the Ayer Library, and members of the community at large. In late May we launched a Community Survey and received more that 250 responses from the broader community of library users and some non-users as well.
Once the data gathering exercises concluded and results were analyzed, we drafted a set of Goals and Objectives to form the core of the plan. These Goals & Objectives are intended to address needs and desires identified in the information gathered from the community, from internal assessments of the Library’s physical infrastructure, staffing, and technology, and from goals and objectives identified in the Town of Ayer’s 2017 Master Plan, among other sources.
The Action Plan (Appendix G) lists the tasks that will help us achieve the Goals and Objectives that we’ve established. This Action Plan will be updated annually as we complete some tasks, re-prioritize others, and add new tasks as necessary.
The final draft of the Strategic Plan was approved by the Library’s Board of Trustees on September 16, 2021 and is now awaiting approval from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC).
While not necessary for participation in the MBLC’s State Aid to Public Libraries Program, an approved Strategic Plan is a requirement for libraries that wish to apply for state funding from the Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program (MPLCP) or for federal Library Service and Technology Act (LSTA) grant funding administered by the MBLC. LSTA grants can fund a wide variety of projects and programs, from assessing local history collection preservation needs to renovations for service improvements to creating an early childhood education program and more. We hope to apply for some of this funding to accomplish some of the tasks in our Action Plan.
We’ll be reporting our progress toward achieving the goals and objectives in our Strategic Plan on a monthly basis, with an annual summary at the end of each fiscal year. If you have any questions about our Strategic Plan, please contact Interim Director Samantha Benoit.