Guiding and Aligning Our Work, 2019-2023
King County Library System's (KCLS’) Strategic Framework and its elements were thoughtfully developed by what we learned through broad input from patrons, community leaders and partners, educators and staff.
The process began in 2016, when KCLS conducted surveys, held meetings and reached out in other ways to discover what King County residents considered their highest hopes, dreams and plans for the future. The extensive feedback we received created a new Strategic Focus, helped refresh our Mission, Vision and Values and reaffirmed our continued commitments to our patrons and community. Read more about our mission, vision, and values.
The Strategic Framework fortifies KCLS as an organization that emphasizes teamwork, setting priorities, strategic goals and building on staff strengths. It reflects the Library System’s commitment to public service and accountability, and our deep intention to enhance lives, forge connections and strengthen communities. A management system is now in place to align, prioritize, organize, measure and communicate our strategies, goals and initiatives.
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
Customer service through helpful and expert staff; a robust and diverse collection of books and resources; responsive programs and services and welcoming library spaces.
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.
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.
2020 Initiative Details
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Training & Engagement
In order to fully realize KCLS values of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), staff must have a strong foundation of knowledge and skills. KCLS will develop trainings and other strategies to increase staff’s abilities to reach DEI goals.
- DEI organizational assessment
- Workforce diversification action plan
- Racial Equity Advocates
Reducing Barriers to Library Access
Supporting communities of inclusion involves addressing institutionalized barriers to library access, which disproportionately impact low-income patrons. KCLS will identify and remove barriers by changing internal processes and adapting service models.
- Improvements to internal procedures that disproportionately burden low-income patrons
KCLS will connect people with the information, services and resources needed to navigate complex and biased systems.
- Expanded community collaboration to build opportunities for economic success
- Learning programs for teens to develop 21st century skills and competencies
Social & Health Services
The library has long been a source of information and resources for health and social services. KCLS will build on this foundation by focusing on patrons whose needs are not being met by more traditional service models.
- Community health programming
- Welcoming Centers at Bellevue and Kent Libraries
- Additional social work services in libraries
- Expand services to people experiencing homelessness and reduce barriers to social and health resources
KCLS will continue to focus on STEM learning through System- wide programming and activities at two ideaX Makerspaces.
- ideaX Makerspace at Federal Way Library
- Digital media artist-in-residence
Through the Green Initiative, KCLS will continue to implement sound environmental practices, reducing
paper and plastic waste, cutting supplies and maintenance costs and improving operational efficiencies.
- Expand vended services (e.g. pay to print)
- Implement paperless invoicing system
Library Staffing Alignment & Region Reorganization
The current regional configuration of KCLS libraries is imbalanced, making it more challenging for staff and managers to succeed. Staffing changes and a comprehensive evaluation of our staffing model present unique opportunities to reorganize regions, guided by data analysis.
- Develop a collaborative, contract-compliant process for assigning staff to work locations
- Implement optimal distribution of classifications and staff to new regions
Technology has the potential to reduce resource use, improve workflow and provide staff and patrons with experiences that respond to their evolving interests and needs.
- Human Capital Management (HCM) system implementation
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) exploration
Incident Response Improvement
Staff respond to escalated incidents in libraries that may cause confusion, stress or other emotions that can be difficult to process. KCLS will establish tools and training to better support staff involved in such incidents.
- Enhance training for managers and staff
- Conduct staff perception assessment
- Incident response and communication plan
KCLS will continue to develop a budgeting process that more closely aligns spending priorities with KCLS’ Strategic Focus, improving processes while moving toward greater transparency and better communication regarding financial decisions.
- Annual budget process in alignment with KCLS Strategy
- Levy lid lift preparation
- Implement tools to prioritize funding that reflects KCLS’commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion