FIVE –YEAR LIBRARY SYSTEM PLAN OF SERVICE
January 1, 2007 – December 31, 2011
The Southern Tier Library System, a regional consortium of public libraries, works in partnership with its members to support and strengthen them through clearly defined, cost-effective services that make possible the coordination and sharing of resources, enabling all individuals in the five-county region to have equal access to excellent library services.
- The System and member libraries have mutual responsibilities.
Southern Tier’s responsibilities include working cooperatively with members to carry out its mission, developing and providing services that are responsive to member needs, and responding to requests in a timely way.
Member responsibilities include working cooperatively with Southern Tier to stay informed about System services and activities, communicating with the System and other members, and cooperating with other members in providing services.
- Charters, Governance, and Funding. In February 2006 focus groups, member libraries said that funding, adequate space, and paying for qualified staff were their biggest challenges. Southern Tier will support libraries in achieving sustained, sufficient funding through new and revised charters, public election of trustees, and public budget votes.
- Diversity of needs among member libraries.Sometimes this diversity is expressed in terms of size of library. Member libraries are also diverse in terms of local resources, vision of library’s role, and stage of development.
- Essential services. STLS will concentrate on services which member library focus groups identified as essential: Interlibrary loan, Delivery, Information Technology, Consultant Services, Technical Services, and Rotating Collections.
- There will be limited growth in state funding for libraries.The current level of System services cannot be maintained indefinitely without increased funding. Southern Tier will continue to stretch funds through cost-effective services and careful use of grants, work with members on shared financial support of services, and investigate additional sources of funding.
- Incorporating change. Social (aging population, more culturally diverse) and technological changes continue to revolutionize library services.“… it seems that the regional library systems should target their efforts toward ensuring that all members stay current, connected, and critical (to their communities).” Patricia Norris, Illinois State Library Associate Director,
Illinois Libraries, Vol. 86, #1, p 108, Dec 2005.