Strategic Framework

Strategic Framework

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.

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.

2021 Initiative Details

Communities of Inclusion and Belonging

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

KCLS will develop a holistic DEI strategy that embeds a shared vision of equity, embraces diverse perspectives and experiences, and begins to dismantle inequities that impact historically underrepresented people.

Key projects

  • Design and implement a framework for diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Create processes and tools to attract and retain a diverse workforce
  • Increase public programming that responds to the needs of marginalized groups
  • Build collections that are intentionally inclusive

Reducing Barriers to Library Access

KCLS will identify and remove institutionalized barriers to library access that disproportionately impact low-income patrons.

Key projects

  • Adapt service models to provide an equitable balance between physical and digital access
  • Improve availability of public Wi-Fi outside library buildings
  • Develop programs that safely engage with individuals in ways not requiring internet access

Social & Health Services

KCLS will build on its foundation as a provider of health and social services information and resources by focusing on patrons whose needs are not being met by more traditional service models.

Key Projects

  • Expand outreach and services to people experiencing homelessness through Peer Navigator programs
  • Increase partnerships and programs that build social connections
  • Services focusing on KCLS’ role as a trusted source for health and wellness information and resources

Responsive, Inspirational Service

STEM Learning

KCLS will continue to focus on STEM learning for all ages through programming, services, and resources.

Key Projects

  • Increase services to support STEM learning in all modalities for K-12 schools, parents, and students
  • Expand opportunities for adults to gain technology skills and certifications online

Economic Empowerment

KCLS will connect people with the information, services and resources needed to navigate complex and biased systems and build thriving communities.

Key Projects

  • Continue one-on-one services that provide customized resources to overcome financial challenges and meet career goals
  • Create a strategy to quickly develop and adapt services that respond to changes in the economic outlook

Organizational Excellence

Library Staffing Alignment & Region Reorganization

KCLS will develop and implement staffing within a new regional structure that meets the evolving needs of communities.

Key Projects

  • Plan and implement staffing that aligns with Washington’s Safe Start phases
  • Fully implement region reorganization

Technology Unification and Improvement

KCLS will improve workflow and provide staff and patrons with experiences that respond to their evolving interests and needs.

Key Projects

  • Provide new computer options to support a flexible and mobile workforce while optimizing library staff workspaces
  • Integrate communication technologies to enhance service to patrons
  • Model and implement a data warehouse that improves security, provides appropriate access, and increases use of business intelligence across the organization

Strategic Communication

Strategy/Budget Alignment

KCLS will continue to develop financial processes and systems that align spending priorities with KCLS Strategy, and provide greater transparency and better communication regarding financial decisions.

Key Projects

  • Expand capacity to identify, obtain and administer grant funding to support KCLS’ strategic priorities
  • Enhance internal business transparency and sophistication with accounts payable and invoicing automation project
  • Maximize the use of existing technology systems for enterprise resource planning
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