Library books plan for future

JOHNSTOWN – The Johnstown Public Library has developed a long-range plan for 2013-16 – calling for more marketing and technical upgrades – to guide the facility in the future.

Library Director Erica Wing told the Common Council last week that the library Board of Trustees on Sept. 17 adopted the long-range plan of service.

“We’ll use this over the next few years to plan even more effectively than we have,” she stated.

Wing said the long-range plan of service – “fairly brief, but fairly concise” – can be found on the library’s website

The Board of Trustees and Wing started the process of strategic planning for the South Market Street facility in fall 2012. Input from the public, patron, library board and staff was used to assemble the plan.

There is some statistical data in the plan from 2010-12 showing the library annual budget has stayed at about $367,000 the last three years. Circulation of items has been in the range of 86,000 to 88,000. The number of visits to the library has decreased from 89,000 in 2010 to 81,000 in 2012.

A total of 173 people responded to a survey the library did to gauge the public’s opinion about priorities for the library. According to the library website, the public wants: more and better adult programming, an improved website, more comfortable seating, expanded collections, and improved advertising and marketing of library services and programs.

“The community appreciates the library’s staff, interlibrary loan service and collections,” the website said.

About 90 percent of survey respondents rated the staff’s helpfulness, knowledge, friendliness, and response time as “excellent,” the site said.

Wing told the council the heart of the plan is four main goals that will “guide us” in future years.

A summary of the goals follow:

Goal one: “Remain a municipal public library.”

The library hopes to accomplish this by maintaining financial support from the city, community support and fiscal responsibility; and continue to explore additional funding sources.

Goal two: “Effectively market and advertise programs and services to patrons and potential patrons.”

Officials want to create a “dynamic” website, shift from a blog to a website, do better marketing, use social media more, and create a library logo.

Goal three: “Ensure that the Johnstown Public Library’s services and programs will reflect the community’s wants and needs.”

The library wants to offer “high quality” programming, use the public to select in-demand presenters for adult lectures and workshops, maintain a popular materials collection, and continue to assess technological improvement upgrades.”

Goal four: “Ensure that the Johnstown Public Library remains a welcoming and comfortable facility.”

The library hopes to adopt policies to properly govern patron behavior and computer usage, explore similar policies in other local libraries, provide comfortable seating and quiet reading and study spaces, and explore furniture options and funding possibilities.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at