Strategic Plan
Harrison Public Library

Message from the President,
Harrison Public Library Board of Trustees

We are living in a very exciting time, particularly for libraries and especially for the Harrison Public Library (HPL). Transformational change caused by new technologies and new ways for people to connect have created an unprecedented opportunity to transform our library services to meet our patrons' changing needs. In addition, we are in the midst of a building campaign to fully redesign the HPL's main branch to become a twenty-first century library for our community. In the spring of 2013, members of HPL staff, HPL Board of Trustees and the Harrison community embarked on a major strategic planning initiative. Our goal was to create a strategic plan that would provide a pathway to meet the needs of our community and set a course for excellence for the future.

We understand the role of libraries is changing rapidly from offering books and reference materials to providing access to information and portals to new technology, while simultaneously serving as a nexus for community activity. Above all, we remain committed advocates for literacy and lifelong learning. To meet these needs, HPL is embracing innovation in many forms: providing new services, improving and evolving existing services, and aligning our resources to best meet the most pressing needs in our community. As stewards of public funding in a time of economic challenges, we want to insure that every dollar is spent wisely and that we are meeting our stated goals.

The HPL Strategic Plan 2014-2018 represents many hours of discussion and hard work. In particular, I would like to thank our Director, Galina Chernykh and Trustee Walter Mardis for spearheading this project and for their enthusiastic commitment. I invite you to review the plan and collaborate with us as we strive for excellence and the fulfillment of these goals.


Maureen Skrilow

Introduction from the Director,
Harrison Public Library

Customer Centered, Community Focused: A Strategy for Relevance

I am excited to introduce our Strategic Plan for an up-to-date, multipurpose Harrison Public Library. This Strategic Plan will guide the Library's actions for the next five years and also lay out an ambitious agenda for the immediate future. This Plan makes the transition from a collection-centric library to a people-centric library in response to the needs of HPL's patrons in the twenty-first century.

This Strategic Plan is based on our vision of the role the Library should play in the Harrison community. We want to become an active, vibrant community center where everyone has access to traditional library offerings such as books, research and children's programs, and also to a range of new services like enhanced digital tools, expanded learning opportunities, and places for people to interact. We aim to be a welcoming resource for all citizens, especially for those who may not have had easy access to library services in the past.

With this vision in mind we incorporate in our Strategic Plan two main objectives: to connect the community and to upgrade our technology.

Connect the Community - We want to expand awareness of the Library and participation in its services, especially among previously underserved segments of our community. To help achieve this objective we will renovate the Library's facilities. The Library will be more responsive to patrons' needs: rather than asking the patrons to fit into the Library, we will shape the Library so it fits the patrons.

Upgrade our Technology - We want to update our technological offerings to not only improve service to our patrons who already use sophisticated technology in their everyday lives but also to improve service to patrons who wish to learn how to use these new technologies.

Our new digital learning areas will accommodate both smaller and larger groups and provide a low-stress environment where children, teens and adults will all be able to find tools geared toward their needs and learning styles.

We have looked for ways to make our library more central to our community. This Strategic Plan is the result of our work. We plan to transform our facilities to improve service, to increase inclusiveness across the entire spectrum of our community, to encourage people to interact with each other in new ways, and to promote the use of new technology.

We hope that you will join us in realizing our vision.

With best wishes,

Galina Chernykh

Vision Statement

The Harrison Public Library aspires to be the center of information and discovery in the community. Through innovative programming, relevant collections and responsive services, its goals are to support lifelong learning and the joy of reading, and to enrich, entertain and educate residents of all ages and cultures.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Harrison Public Library is to provide to the community outstanding information, resources, programs and services and to encourage the free exchange of ideas.

To fulfill our mission, we rely on library staff, collections, programs and the participation of our patrons and community.

The Library will provide access to a broad range of content, programs, and services that will educate, entertain and enrich people's lives.

The Library will try to anticipate and respond to the information needs of the community, and will help train people to successfully navigate and use information.

The Library will strive to create a warm, inviting and safe environment for all.

Strategic Plan at a glance...

Refresh and revitalize the Library's facilities for twenty-first century service delivery.

Beginning in 2014, the Downtown Library will undergo a significant upgrade that will enhance the physical plant, provide a more attractive environment, expand technological capabilities, and provide increased access for patrons.

Reach Fundraising Target of $3.6 Million
Finalize Plans and Initiate Construction
Complete Construction and Reopen for Business

West Harrison Branch

The West Harrison Branch is in a much-loved older building, centrally located in the neighborhood's retail heart. It provides a familiar and comfortable venue for patrons of all ages and HPL believes that it is important to retain this atmosphere while continuing to upgrade the facility by:

  • Upgrading and repairing the building's infrastructure to maintain and enhance patrons' comfort.

  • Improving the outside of the building and enhancing its location to make it harmonious with the refurbished town park and recreation facilities, and the improved downtown.

Proactively promote a lifelong passion for reading, personal development and learning among all segments of the Harrison Community.

Work with schools and community organizations to build a coordinated strategy to encourage reading.
Identify opportunities to enhance school curricula with offerings provided by the Library.
Create a series of programs focused on promoting ongoing learning that target various segments of the community.


  • Serve as a leading advocate for all forms of ongoing intellectual development and education for the community, especially for Harrison's youth.

  • Ensure that the Library can deliver a full range of offerings that will promote ongoing learning and personal growth.

Expand community awareness and participation. Reach out to underserved populations in the community.

Develop a comprehensive promotional plan for Library services, resources and programs. Create recognizable identity and message.
Utilize Library webpage, social media channels and news outlets to enhance public awareness. Increase the Library's presence at community events.
Identify target audiences in the community. Research and respond to their needs and interests.
Seek community partnerships and collaborative projects. Implement mechanisms for community feedback.


  • Ensure that the Harrison community as a whole is aware of the unique services provided by the Library.

  • Identify and reach out to groups of residents who may not be familiar with the Library and who might benefit from its programs.

Become a recognized leader in the community for providing access to and training in new information and digital technologies.

Expand digital offerings and tools for patrons.
Enhance programs and facilities for delivering digital literacy training.
Increase utilization of available productivity tools that reduce costs and improve service.
Complete a fully functioning technology center for all ages.


  • Provide increased technology training opportunities.

  • Assure that patrons of all ages and backgrounds are comfortable with technology.

  • Adopt new, cost-effective tools and technologies that efficiently deliver services and offerings.

Cultivate and sustain a responsive culture of service.

Plan, design and implement a comprehensive staff training program to enhance and expand staff capabilities.
Reduce cost of service delivery through improved staffing practices.
Institute an annual employee survey that measures the level of employee satisfaction.
Review/revise customer service standards and conduct regular customer surveys that measure levels of customer satisfaction.


  • Cost-effectively acquire skills in critical offerings/technologies by training current staff and hiring new professionals.

  • Provide an environment where staff feels motivated to deliver the highest standards of service to all patrons.

Ensure stable, dependable and diversified funding.

Expand non-traditional offerings that can generate revenues.
Enhance promotional efforts to demonstrate the importance of the Library to Harrison.
Initiate year-round, multi-dimensional campaign to target potential donors.


  • Create/expand revenue-generating programs and services that the Library is specially positioned to offer.

  • Establish and maintain a more extensive fundraising capability targeting new public and private sources of funding.

 back to top