Sunday, January 23, 2011

Hickory Public Library's Strategic Plan Focuses on Job Hunters, Teens, and Seniors

Library plans to do more with less. (Charlotte Observer, 1/23/2011)

Excerpt: In its new plan for the future, Hickory's public library is trying to do more for job-hunters, teens and seniors, while it lives with a flat budget and fewer employees.

The city's two libraries will need more help from volunteers after a hiring freeze cut staffing by three positions to the current level of 35 full- and part-time employees.

"We can do it," said Mary Sizemore, library director. "The plan will keep us focused." The plan was adopted by the library board in the fall and received by the City Council last month

The library had to reduce its community programs to about 95 annually from the previous 200 because of the staff reduction, said Judy Ivester, library board chairman. Computer training classes for the public and children's programs were especially hard-hit.

"Some parts of this plan break my heart," Ivester told the Hickory City Council recently.

The library's strategic plan tries to bring back more community programming by assigning several hours of staff time and using outside experts to teach classes at Patrick Beaver Memorial Library and Ridgeview Branch

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