These are exciting times at the Stonington Free Library! Two years ago the Board of Trustees launched a strategic planning process. We engaged a highly respected consulting firm to assist us on the most rewarding and valuable part of the planning process—engaging the community.
The community’s response to our outreach was overwhelmingly positive and reflected a remarkable level of participation. More than 600 people responded to our survey and over 100 attended six focus groups for in-depth discussions about the library. Through this process, the people of Stonington spoke loudly and clearly: the community values the Stonington Free Library and wants it to continue to grow and evolve in dynamic ways. Their message was unequivocal: Retain the helpful, welcoming personality that has been the hallmark of the library, while modernizing its collections, reimagining its space and expanding its reach with relevant activities to more of the community.
This strategic plan reflects the commitment of the library to respond to the community’s message of support and encouragement. The feedback we received from the community and the ideas generated throughout the process have inspired and energized the staff and trustees. The plan will guide the board in prioritizing initiatives according to importance and financial impact. Several initiatives, including expanding our reach to more members of the community, redesigning our website, increasing offerings in our digital library, and reimagining our physical spaces, are already underway.
We look forward to continuing our successful partnership with the community as we implement new strategic initiatives to improve Stonington Free Library’s services and programs. We are grateful for the generous support of the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut whose funding made it possible for the library to create this plan. We thank former Library Trustee Mary Kelley for her tireless efforts and imaginative and skillful leadership of the strategic planning process. Our consultants, Leslie Burger and Alan Burger of Library Development Solutions, provided invaluable insight and expertise.
Finally, we are profoundly grateful for the enormous effort put forth by the Stonington community whose participation in the development of this strategic plan served as a continuous and tangible reminder that our central mission is, and must always continue to be, to serve the entire Stonington community.
Please join us at these upcoming community events to learn more about our Strategic Plan and the future of the Library:
- Saturday, October 21 through Friday, October 27 – Open House Week at the Library – will run during normal library hours, stop in any time
- Saturday, October 28 @ 11 am at the Library – Community Conversation about the Future of the Library: A Path to a Reimagined Library
Nicholas Kepple Belinda de Kay
President, Board of Trustees Executive Director