Every three years, the library undertakes a thorough strategic planning process designed to reexamine its vision, mission, values, and strategic goals. A large number of staff representing every area of the library participate in this endeavor, together with community leaders and members of the library’s Board of Trustees.
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.
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.
Core Service Values
- Pursuing Access and Equity
- Cultivating Learning and Literacy
- Engaging the Community
Goal 1: To address community aspirations and concerns through sustainable partnerships.
The library is a trusted, established organization that can act as a convener in the community. By working together with local partners, the library can help the community identify shared hopes and realize large-scale, long-lasting social change.
Goal 2: To further a sense of community and spur personal growth through learning that is social, participatory, interest-driven, and relevant for people of all ages.
New economic realities require constant change and growth for individuals across the lifespan in order to participate actively in the workforce. At the same time, technologies support deep engagement with communities of practice on any number of topics. The library is uniquely positioned to deliver on the promises of these new realities, as a community gathering space, to support diverse learning goals through innovative, experiential formats—while creating, in the process, new forms of civic engagement and community participation. The library can play a crucial role in providing broad access to key technologies that will make learning resources more accessible and visible at home, at school, and across the community.
Goal 3: To make data-driven decisions that lead to the best use of resources, guide effective advocacy, and maximize the impact on our community.
In an environment where there is a seemingly endless number of possibilities for library services, programs, and resources, it is critical to remain customer-driven and base our decisions on a deep understanding of the community. This requires becoming more data-literate as a staff and becoming adept at collecting, organizing, analyzing, sharing, and using both quantitative and qualitative data. Better understanding the impact we are making in the community will help us tell our story more effectively and improve our advocacy efforts.
Goal 4: To promote equity of opportunity through development of resources, programs, and services that reflect Skokie’s diversity and are accessible to all.
Research shows that a significant and growing population in Skokie is affected by low income and its associated challenges. The community also continues to be defined by a large, yet shifting, immigrant population that faces interpersonal and structural bias. Dynamics of urban sprawl make matters more complex, elevating issues once concentrated in nearby Chicago to greater significance in Skokie. There is a growing sense of urgency about these large-scale societal issues that are often rooted in race, gender, income, and inequity of experience and opportunity. The library can play a central role in advocating for equitable access to opportunities for even the most vulnerable in the community.
Goal 5: To incorporate user-centered design in our planning and practice to achieve convenient, intuitive, intentional, and engaging experiences for our community.
As people experience faster, more convenient services in other areas of life, they bring new expectations to both the physical and virtual spaces of the library. Creating excellent services, spaces, and products requires thinking about and designing for the user’s behavior and experience.
Goal 6: To build a healthy organizational culture that enables staff to thrive and maximize our effectiveness.
The library’s most valuable resource is its staff. We serve the community of Skokie, and we are a community. In order to accomplish our mission and simultaneously build a joyful, healthy workplace, it is important that staff feel valued and confident not only in the organization’s culture but also in its ability to accomplish what it sets out to do. Communication, transparency, and respect are key aspects of reaching this goal.