Mission, Vision, and Values
Sonoma County Library
Our mission is to:
Organize and provide access to information and universal knowledge,
protect intellectual freedom,
and promote the value and joy of reading,
in order to enrich the lives of the people of our community.
A description of the Library as it will develop in the next five years . . .
The Sonoma County Library will maintain its reputation for top-quality public service.
It is known in the community as the place to go for knowledgeable, friendly assistance,
whether you want to find information, explore your cultural heritage, pursue a hobby or interest, stimulate your child's interest in reading and literature, access
the Internet, advance your studies, improve your literacy, find a good book, access
the archives, or use the many other Library resources and services.
In the year 2000, the Library completed its first strategic plan, and immediately
focused on several short-term objectives. The first priority is the Library's key
public service resource: its staff. Management will enhance open communication and
collaboration, and will increase delegation of decision-making to the branch level or to
the person directly serving patrons. Staff has indicated that this collaborative,
positive working environment will improve their ability to provide efficient and
friendly service to patrons. The Sonoma County Library System will maintain its reputation
as a "good place to be employed," as indicated by long tenure and low turnover, and
will continue to build a reputation as "a great place to work." This will allow
the Library to attract talented job seekers at all levels and from near and far, despite a
nationwide shortage of librarians and technicians.
The Library will move rapidly to expand its collections of print, electronic, and
other resources. An intense effort will be focused on making our technology user-friendly,
easy for patrons to understand, and simple for staff to use and maintain. Priority will be given to training and development that will continue to enhance staff's
knowledge and effectiveness. Training will also increase management's ability to
advance our public service mission and support our staff.
Over the remainder of the next five years, our focus will broaden to include enhancing
the System's services, hours, and facilities. Staffing and services will be expanded
to better meet the needs of ethnic minorities, seniors, teens, and other special
populations, and some branches will develop special collections to meet community demand.
Funding will be increased for our excellent long-standing programs (for children,
literacy, etc.). Evening and weekend hours will be expanded to serve the public
more conveniently. We will develop a long-range facility plan, specifying the enhancements
needed for all branches to provide a welcoming environment that supports efficient
public service, and addressing the need for Library services in growing communities
and outlying areas.
Much of our success will depend on our efforts in planning and fundraising. Under
the Commission's leadership, we will integrate our strategic plan into the operation
of the Library. Our strategic plan will be updated annually. It is a living document
that we refer to regularly. It sets our direction, guides our decision-making, and
motivates all of us to strive for ever-greater achievements. The Library will implement
an expanded fundraising effort, working closely with the Sonoma County Public Library Foundation and with the regional Friends groups. The Library's fundraising successes,
along with modest annual increases in tax revenues over the next five years, will
enable us to achieve the many enhancements that will make this an even better Library system.
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- Provide friendly and accessible service.
- Create a comfortable environment.
- Offer excellent collections and resources.
- Treat patrons with dignity, respect, and enthusiasm.
- Be responsive to the needs of the community.
- Provide access to a full range of information.
- Offer materials that provide different points of view, allowing for full and open
presentation of issues in our democratic society.
- Treat each other with dignity, respect, fairness, and courtesy.
- Provide information, delegate authority, and support staff.
- Value employees' experience, skills, knowledge, and commitment to the Library's mission.
- Commit to excellence.
- Encourage creativity and flexibility.
- Promote ethical practices.
- Provide ongoing education and development for all staff.
- Make the most effective use of public funds.
- Be accountable at all levels to the mission, vision, values, and goals of the Sonoma
County Library System.