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Outline of a Sample County Library Plan

  1. Mission statement (optional) - such as, "To make quality library service available to all _________ County residents of all ages and to provide for equitable funding of that service"
  2. Background
    1. Statutory requirements for county library planning
    2. Brief history of library development and planning in the county
    3. County membership in __________ library system - be sure to mention allocation of county board appointments to library system board (plans involving multi-county systems must, by statute, include a method for allocating system board membership among the member counties)
  3. Current library services to county residents
    1. "Inventory" of current county library services (see Appendix D of DPI publication "Planning for Countywide Library Services") - could include detailed "inventory" as an attachment to the plan and place just a summary of county library services in the body of the plan.
    2. Governance structure of library organizations in county (e.g., municipal, joint, consolidated county, county library service) - include who makes appointments to boards
    3. Current library usage statistics for county residents
  4. Current funding of library services to county residents
    1. Include municipal, county and state funding amounts and any current funding formulas in use (also mention any municipal exemptions from the county library tax)
    2. Include current and anticipated county library service funding levels for county libraries and libraries in adjacent counties, as required in s. 43.12
    3. Comparisons of funding levels - calculate current per capita and tax levy rates in support of library service by residents of each county municipality (graphs can help illustrate these differences more effectively than tables of raw numbers)
  5. Goals and objectives (or, alternatively, "goals and actions" if you want to skip objectives)
    1. sample goal: "To provide all county residents with open access to all library services provided by all system member libraries"
    2. sample goal: "To provide for equitable funding for library services provided to all county residents"
    3. Achievement of new minimum standards of operation by county public libraries could be included here.
    4. Any issues related to shared county library services could be included here
    5. Any issues related to direct library services provided to county residents by the system or a county library service could be included here
  6. Implementation (this section should include all of the actions needed to achieve the objectives of your plan during the time period covered by your plan - however, if you decided to skip listing objectives above, you should list actions to be taken during the plan period needed to work toward or achieve the goals you have in your plan) This section must include the actions needed to achieve the following statutorily required components of the plan:
    • library services to county residents who do not maintain a public library, including full access to all system member libraries and payment for that access
    • the method and level of county library service funding, which must include payment for public library services within the system and in adjacent counties provided to county residents of those municipalities which do not maintain a public library
  7. Future plans (indicate future plans for evaluating and updating of your county plan)
  8. Attachments:
    • you must, by statute, include any written agreements necessary to implement the proposed county library plan
    • a detailed inventory of information and statistics about current county library services can be included here
    • a brief executive summary may be included as a cover page for those who might not read the entire plan
For questions about this information, contact John DeBacher (608) 267-9225