Library Strategic Plan for Services FY 2014 - 2016

Approved by the Library Board of Trustees May 14, 2013

Planning Process  |  Community Strategic Planning Committee   |   Library Service Priorities  |  Library Mission  |  Core Values  |  Library Board of Trustees FY 2012 – FY 2013  Download Brochure (PDF)

Planning Process

The planning process was an interplay between the Community Strategic Planning Committee and The Urbana Free Library Board and staff. 

Committee members, representing key constituencies and Urbana neighborhoods, met on February 13 and March 13.

At the first meeting, the committee discussed their vision for the future of Urbana and the library’s  role in delivering that vision.  They reviewed 18 typical library services and forwarded 11 of those to the Board and staff for comment.

When the committee returned in March, they reviewed the Board/staff analysis and selected their final service recommendations, which the Board adopted.

The process was facilitated by Sandra Nelson, a leading library planning consultant, whose clients include the Public Library Association, the Gates Foundation, and hundreds of libraries both big and small.


Community Strategic Planning Committee

Guadalupe Abreu - East Central Illinois Refugee Mutual Assistance Center

Robin Arbiter - Lierman Neighborhood Action Committee

Lynne Barnes - Carle Foundation Hospital

Mark Dixon - The Atkins Group

Rupert Evans - Clark-Lindsey Village

Tori Exum-Johnson - Human Resources, UIUC Extra Help Services

Ben Galewsky - Common Ground Food Co-op

Aditi Kambuj - City of Urbana Community Development Services

Millie Martinez - PNC Bank

Janice Mitchell - Urbana Neighborhood Connections Center

Hua Nian - Hua Nian Art Studio

Don Owen - Urbana School District 116

Chris Ritzo - Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center

Benita Rollins-Gay - Community Elements Crisis Line

Joel Spencer - The Urbana Free Library Staff

Iván Villamar - Urbana High School Student


Library Service Priorities

The work of the committee and Board resulted in six library services that will direct the library’s focus for FY 2014 through FY 2016. The chosen services are listed below in priority order.  Each service priority is followed by one or more goals to direct staff activities. 

  • Visit a comfortable place - Physical and virtual spaces, with the emphasis on physical space:  Everyone will have welcoming and safe spaces in which to meet and interact with others or to work independently on personal projects.
  • Stimulate imagination - Reading, viewing, and listening for pleasure:  Adults will enjoy a wide variety of readily available new and popular materials in various formats.  Teens will have a supportive environment that provides entertaining reading, viewing, and listening opportunities that respond to their current interests. Elementary school children will discover materials and enjoy programs that stimulate their imaginations, satisfy their curiosity, and foster a love of reading.
  • Create young readers - Early literacy:  Young children (birth to age five) will have materials, services, and programs to prepare them to enter school ready to learn to read, write, and listen. Parents and caregivers will have the tools and skills needed to prepare young children (birth to age five) to learn when they enter school.
  • Connect to the online world - Internet access: Everyone will have free, high-speed online access at the library.
  • Express creativity - Create and share content, with an emphasis on teens:  Teens and adults will have the services and support they need to express themselves by creating original print, video, audio, or visual content.
  • Discover your roots - Local history and genealogy:  Everyone will have resources and services to connect the past with the present through local and family histories.


Library Mission

The Urbana Free Library is a welcoming place with space, collections, technology, and staff dedicated to fostering literacy and a strong community.


Core Values

The core values represent the underlying principles and standards that apply to all services of The Urbana Free Library.  Our core values, as identified by the staff and adopted by the Board, are:

  • Deliver unusually friendly customer service
  • Respond to the community and foster collaborations
  • Practice responsible financial stewardship
  • Uphold open and free access for all
  • Treat everyone with respect and courtesy
  • Support intellectual freedom and protect confidentiality
  • Be professional, committed, and knowledgeable
  • Act with initiative, creativity, and flexibility
  • Nurture a collegial and supportive work environment


Library Board of Trustees FY 2012 – FY 2013

Mary Ellen Farrell, President, Trustee since 1993

Chris Scherer, Vice-President, Trustee since 1999

Beth Scheid, Treasurer, Trustee since 2000

Scott Bennett, Trustee since 2010

Anh Ha Ho, Trustee since 2010

Eric Jakobsson, Trustee since 2011

Anna Merritt, Trustee since 2012

Mark Netter, Trustee since 2012

Jane Williams, Trustee since 1996