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.

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.

Key Projects

  •  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.

Key Projects

  •  Improvements to internal procedures that disproportionately burden low-income patrons

Economic Empowerment

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

Key Projects

  •  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.

Key Projects

  •  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

STEM Learning

KCLS will continue to focus on STEM learning  through System- wide programming and activities at two ideaX Makerspaces.

Key Projects

  •  ideaX Makerspace at Federal Way Library
  •  Digital media artist-in-residence

Green Initiative

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.

Key Projects

  •  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.

Key Projects

  •  Develop a collaborative, contract-compliant process for assigning staff to work locations
  •  Implement optimal distribution of classifications and staff to new regions

Technology Unification/Improvement

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.

Key Projects

  •  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.

Key Projects

  •  Enhance training for managers and staff
  •  Conduct staff perception assessment
  •  Incident response and communication plan

Strategy/Budget Alignment

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.

Key Projects

  •  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
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