Strategic Plan 2019-2022


Every three years, the library undertakes a thorough strategic planning process designed to reexamine its vision, mission, values, and strategic priorities. It is critical that we regularly examine ourselves and adapt to our local community’s current aspirations and challenges, changing societal values and human experiences, advances in technology, and developments within the broader library field. Over the next three years, we will also take on a major renovation project that will transform our interior spaces on the first and second floors. Adjusting to all of these new conditions will require us to be both focused and open-minded.

Starting in the fall of 2018, a committee consisting of library staff and two library trustees, together with community members and trusted partners, contributed to the planning process through reflection, information gathering, discussion, and analysis. The hope is that this new plan will build on the progress made over the past three years, while also clearly addressing the current aspirations and challenges of the community.

Our belief is that the library, through pursuit of our vision and mission, will continue to play a vital role in the continued growth and strengthening of our community. We expect that the 2019-2022 Strategic Plan will guide library staff in their work and inspire others to engage with us in creating a better community.

Download the one-page Strategic Plan overview (PDF).


The vision statement speaks to our hope for the future of Skokie, as well as the library’s essential role in helping the community reach that destination.

Skokie Public Library is the heart of a vibrant village where people of all ages, backgrounds, and cultures engage in lifelong learning and discovery while actively participating in the life of the community.


The mission statement serves as the primary goal of the library and lays down a path for what the library will do to help achieve the vision for the community.

As a springboard for personal growth and community development, Skokie Public Library promotes discovery, enrichment, collaboration, and the exchange of ideas through a broad spectrum of resources and experiences.


The enduring values of librarianship include those expressed in the American Library Association Core Values of Librarianship Statement, the Library Bill of Rights, the Freedom to Read Statement, and the American Library Association Code of Ethics. These values include access, confidentiality and privacy, democracy, diversity, education and lifelong learning, intellectual freedom, service, and social responsibility.

We affirm these professional values and are guided by four core organizational values. These core values are vital to the entire organization because they help every staff person understand our identity as an organization and what directs our work.


We recognize that all of our efforts will have a larger impact when we intentionally center them on the aspirations and lives of the people in our community.


We pursue our mission most effectively when we develop relationships and work in concert with our community, colleagues, and partners.


We value a resilient community that expresses a deep concern for the well-being of every person, leading to action that is rooted in equity and respect for human dignity.


We cultivate an open-minded and creative environment that encourages everyone to explore new experiences, ideas, information, and questions.


The following strategic priorities outline the library’s main areas of focus over the next three years. Although they do not capture every possible aspect of our activity and work, they highlight the key differences we want to make in our community. They also serve as the framework for enhancing existing work and developing new initiatives. We expect our work for and with the community to make a significant difference in these three areas over the next three years and beyond.

A Resilient Community

Build a more resilient community, one in which people experience well-being, including a strong sense of belonging and connection to one another.

An Engaged Community

Build a more engaged community, one in which people have the knowledge, skills, empowerment, and sense of hope to make a positive impact on the life of their community.

An Inclusive Community

Build a more inclusive community, one in which people actively seek to better understand themselves and others.


The strategic priorities speak to our broad focus areas. Over the next three years, we will support these priorities by developing and presenting a wide range of collections, establishing fruitful community partnerships, and offering engaging events and learning experiences.

The design of our many public services for people of all ages and interests, including advisory services, information services, digital literacy services, bookmobile and book bike services, and new approaches such as maker services, will also demonstrate our commitment to our strategic priorities. Similarly, the thoughtful design and inspiring renovation of our physical spaces will support our values and strategic priorities.

Even the way our organization handles the behind-the-scenes aspects of our administration and operations (such as policy making, finances, facility management, safety, technology, and communications and multimedia engagement) will be shaped by our pursuit of these focus areas. Finally, our efforts to make a difference in our community in the ways outlined above will be evident in how we invest in and support our library staff. Creating a staff culture marked by values such as curiosity, collaboration, and compassion will continue to be essential to our success.


Creating the strategic plan took over seven months and involved many different steps. Throughout the process, we were mindful of the following guiding principles.


Listening to people in our community grounded the entire planning process. The main topics, based on the main themes revealed from our conversations with community members, explored by the subcommittees included connectedness and belonging, civic participation, navigating a changing information landscape, healthy and supportive communities, and fostering curiosity and creativity. Another integral part of our process involved an opportunity for many leaders from the community to discuss the state of the community and its needs.


We made a commitment to hear not only from established, well-known community partners and experts, but also from those who normally do not have a voice in processes like this. We spoke with immigrants and individuals whose primary language is not English, people with low-incomes, people with disabilities, people with mental illness, and others with diverse experiences and viewpoints. Internally, we composed our staff committees to reflect various departments within the library, as well as diverse personal and professional experiences and backgrounds. We also gave all staff members an opportunity to participate in the process and voice their thoughts during a strategic planning exercise held during Staff Day 2019.

Reflective and Forward-Thinking

We sought to create a process that encouraged participants to not only think about the future realities and possibilities for the library and community, but also about our recent and current work. We intentionally used questions to help participants reflect on our strengths (what can we build on?), opportunities (what are our best possible future outcomes?), and aspirations (what do we care deeply about?). We also invited experts to help us think about wider societal trends and developments that are shaping the future of our profession.


We considered many different data elements, including local demographic information and how people from different areas within Skokie use the library’s collections, programs, and services.


The intent from the start of the process was to design the strategic plan in such a way that it becomes an active, living document that informs our work at every level possible for the next three years. We discussed the structure and communication of the plan so that these values and priorities have the best chance of meaningfully impacting the work of each staff member in the library, as well as informing collaborative efforts created with our community partners.


Skokie Public Library acknowledges and thanks the following individuals and their respective organizations for participating in and supporting the strategic planning process. Many others who are not mentioned below, including members of our staff and community, as well as experts from the library profession and other fields assisted the creation of this strategic plan. This document would not have been possible if not for all of their contributions.

Skokie Public Library Board of Trustees

Mark Prosperi, President

Diana Hunter, Vice President/President Emerita

Karen Parrilli, Secretary

Mira Barbir

Susan Greer

Eugene F. Griffin

Jonathan H. Maks, MD

Core Committee

Mira Barbir, Board Member

Lindsay Braddy, Assistant Access Services Manager

Gene Griffin, Board Member

Jane Hanna, Communications and Multimedia Engagement Manager

Denise Hudec, Collection Development Librarian

Nancy Kim Phillips, Community Engagement Manager

Amy Koester, Learning Experiences Manager

Richard Kong, Director (Committee Chair)

Matt MacKellar, Community Engagement Librarian

Laura McGrath, Deputy Director

Devan Parkison, Data Analysis Coordinator

Miguel Ruiz, Information Services Supervisor

Shelley Sutherland, Youth Services Manager

Leah White, Learning and Development Manager

Subcommittee #1: “Healthy and Supported”

Holly Jin, Community Engagement Supervisor

Laurel Johnson, Young Adult Services Supervisor

Matt MacKellar, Community Engagement Librarian (Subcommittee Chair)

Mandy O’Brien, Youth Services Librarian

Lynnanne Pearson, Customer Services and Popular Services Manager

Subcommittee #2: “Connections and Belonging”

Lindsay Braddy, Assistant Access Services Manager (Subcommittee Chair)

Lorrie Hansen, Community Engagement Librarian

Caitlin Savage, Youth Services Librarian

Kathy Sexton, Popular Services Supervisor

Mimosa Shah, Adult Program Coordinator

Subcommittee #3: “Changing Information Landscape”

Kate Belogorsky, Community Engagement Librarian

Jessica Goodman, Digital Collections Librarian

Amy Holcomb, Experiential Learning Supervisor

Christie Robinson, Senior Communications Strategist

Miguel Ruiz, Information Services Supervisor (Subcommittee Chair)

Subcommittee #4: “Civic Engagement”

Chris Breitenbach, Reference Librarian

Monica Chavez, Administrative Assistant to the Director

Angela Jones, Youth Program Coordinator

Amy Koester, Learning Experiences Manager (Subcommittee Chair)

Terry Ratoff, Community Engagement Librarian

Subcommittee #5: “Curious and Creative”

Stephen Delaney, Web Developer

Calin Muntean, Materials Handling Lead

Caitlin Myers, Assistant Information Services Supervisor

Vanessa Rosenbaum, Visual Design Supervisor

Leah White, Learning and Development Manager (Subcommittee Chair)

Community Partners and Supporters

Theresa Alberico-Madl, School District 73

Steven Applebaum, Behavioral Services

Tony Araque, Niles Township Food Pantry

Aynur Aytes, Euro Echo Cafe

Erine Banac, Patron

Brian Barnes, Patron

Iris Barrios, Village of Skokie Human Services

Rosamin Bhanpuri, School District 219

Tim Biel, Central Methodist Church

Henry Biar, St. Paul Lutheran Church

Betty Bogg, Connections for the Homeless

Peter Bromberg, Salt Lake City Library

Craige Christensen, YWCA Evanston/Northshore

Olga Chertkova, Patron

Margaret Clauson, School District 69

Bridget Connolly, School District 219

Catherine Counard, Village of Skokie Health

Tiffany Culpepper, Infant Welfare Society of Evanston

Phil Crittenden, Volunteer

Matthew Daigler, National Able Network

Juanita Davis, Village of Skokie Human Services

David Donegan, Village of Skokie Human Relations Commission

Kate Donegan, School District 73.5

Andi Drileck, National Able Network

Mary Elston, Metropolitan Family Services

Miguel Figueroa, American Library Association Center for the Future of Libraries

Mark Fijor, School District 72

Sharon Fine, Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center

James Garwood, School District 68

Tsetsegmaa Gomez, School District 73.5

Ekram Hanna, Iraqi Mutual Aid Society

Andrew Hazard, Volunteer

Laura Hazard, Volunteer

Jean Hedstrom, People for a Safer Society

Eileen Heineman, YWCA Evanston/Northshore

Ken Hockenberry, Carter-Westminster United Presbyterian Church

Abigail Hoffman, Turning Point

Casia Holmgren, Oakton Community College

Beth Hooten, Orchard Village

Russ Hopkins, Military Families Initiative

Jennifer Hutchison, Patron

Steven Isoye, School District 219

Diana Juarez, ELL Parent Center

Bryan Kelly, School District 69

Tarin Kendrick, Niles Township District for Special Education

Janet Kenny, School District 72

Rifath Khan, Douglas Center

Khem Khoeun, Skokie Park District

Bernadette Komenda, School District 219

Elizabeth Kristiansen, Douglas Center

Esther Lang, Assyrian Universal Alliance Foundation

Baruch Lev, Patron

Sasha Lev, Patron

Cara Liace, Children’s Advocacy Center

Bob Libit, Village of Skokie Police

Beth Lindley, Village of Skokie Human Services

John Lockerby, Village of Skokie

Barb Macikas, Public Library Association

Steve Marciani, Village of Skokie Planning

Joannie McKinney, Niles Township Clothing Closet

Amy Memis-Foler, Beth Emet Free Synagogue

Katie Merrell, Ethical Humanist Society

Daniel Morris, St. Timothy's Lutheran Church

John Ohrlund, Skokie Park District

Habeeb Quadri, MCC Academy

Kee Park, Patron

Kate Paz, Mather LifeWays

Fernanda Perez, Skokie United

Amy Puente, Patron

Ann Raney, Turning Point

Sarah Rankin, School District 69

Mary Rose, Metropolitan Family Services

Julianne Rooney, Turning Point

Tony Scarpelli, Village of Skokie Police

Sarin Seesawat, Patron

Christine Somervill, NAMI

Allison Stark, Orchard Village

Susan Stump, YWCA Evanston/Northshore

Jen Sultz, Turning Point

Jim Szczepaniak, School District 219

Ann Tennes, Village of Skokie

Belinda Tibayan, MCC Academy

Michelle Tuft, Skokie Park District

George Van Dusen, Village of Skokie

Joanna Varda, SCC Early Childhood Centers

Stephen Vick, Infant Welfare Society of Evanston

Dilnaz Waraich, Muslim Community Center

Michael Weinberg, Temple Beth Israel

Cindy Whitaker, School District 72

Brian Williams, Skokie United

Brad Wooten, Oakton Community College