Strategic Framework

Guiding and Aligning Our Work, 2023-2027

King County Library System’s (KCLS) Strategic Framework reflects its commitment to public service that enhances lives, forges connections and strengthens communities. Building on the work done in 2023 to establish a new five-year plan, the 2024 Budget funds key strategic initiatives and projects that further expand programs and services to support operational improvements. It creates internal efficiencies and enhances experiences for patrons and staff, all developed through an equity lens.

Strategic Focus

To Create Opportunities Through Meaningful Connections

We will do this by connecting people with

  • Information and services to navigate life’s complexities and biases
  • Equitable avenues to build the skills and knowledge needed for success
  • One another to bridge differences and create communities of inclusion and belonging

Continued Commitments

Customer service through helpful and expert staff; a robust and diverse collection of books and resources; responsive programs and services and welcoming library spaces.

Strategic Goals

Organizational Excellence

KCLS has clear priorities and effective practices; high-performing leadership and staff; financial stability and a healthy culture.

We measure our performance and use what we learn to make sound decisions.

Focus: Improve financial management; organizational culture; and knowledge, skills and abilities of staff.

Strategic Communication

KCLS communication is clear, timely and intentional. Residents, partners and supporters recognize KCLS as an essential contributor to their lives. Staff use internal standards, practices and tools that inform, educate and connect us with one another.

Focus: Improve internal and external communication and workflow processes.

Responsive, Inspirational Service

KCLS offers customized pathways to exciting, relevant opportunities that inspire innovation, creation, learning and reflection. KCLS connects with people and organizations to leverage community strengths and enhance experiences.

Focus: Increase responsiveness to changing technology needs and reduce barriers to access.

Communities of Inclusion and Belonging

KCLS continually works to increase equity, strengthen bonds and support individual and community identities by embracing and reflecting the diversity of our communities.

Focus: Improve patron experience and responsiveness to community interests.

Centering Communities Most Impacted by Systemic Inequities

With the completion of its comprehensive 2021-22 DEI Assessment, KCLS has intentionally leaned into its core values of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion by adding to its Strategic Framework the four DEI strategic pillars of Systems, Co-creation, Well-Being and Accountability. These pillars work together to weave a connection between the principle of centering communities most impacted by systemic inequities and the implementation of KCLS’ services and projects.

Pillar #1: Systems

Systematically apply a DEI lens to internal processes and resources.

To effectively serve and welcome diverse communities into the libraries, KCLS must have appropriate internal infrastructure and support in place.

Pillar #2: Co-Creation

Co-create and evaluate services with most impacted communities.

KCLS should proactively engage communities most impacted by systemic inequities at every stage of public service design and development.

Pillar #3: Well-Being

Adopt a trauma-informed approach to staff well-being.

Staff who are cared for, valued and who feel a sense of belonging in the workplace, are best positioned to create that same environment for patrons.

Pillar #4: Accountability

Communicate DEI accountability to the public.

KCLS must communicate its DEI goals and progress clearly and proactively. Doing so keeps the organization publicly accountable for its commitments to its most impacted communities.

2024 Initiatives

The Budget includes funding for key initiatives that align with KCLS’ four strategic goals and work toward centering communities most impacted by systemic inequities.

Responsive, Inspirational Service

  • Provide resources and expertise to support formal and informal learning for all ages
  • Reimagine collections to increase accessibility and align with local community needs and interests
  • Expand and improve services that support readers to enhance and increase patrons’ use of library collections
  • Implement a new Service Strategy to refocus KCLS’ offerings for a post-pandemic world

Communities of Inclusion and Belonging

  • Refine and improve services to the many language communities in the KCLS service area
  • Celebrate Freedom to Read, a year-long celebration of the of role public libraries in providing every person with access to ideas and information that align with their values
  • Address the loneliness epidemic through interactive programs that build connections, especially for older adults
  • Expand volunteer opportunities in KCLS’ community libraries

Organizational Excellence

  • Improve the security of KCLS’ physical and online environments
  • Balance care of staff, services to patrons, and fiscal stewardship through new staffing strategies
  • Improve standards for employee on- and off-boarding
  • Develop staff knowledge and skills that add value to the patron experience
  • Develop a Climate Action Plan for KCLS

Strategic Communication

  • Finalize reorganization of Communications and Marketing Department
  • Expand opportunities for patron feedback on library services
  • Build out internal help desk knowledge base to streamline requests for assistance
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