Between 2011 and 2015, The Seattle Public Library implemented a Strategic Plan based on community involvement that supported reading, personal growth, education, access to information, empowerment of Seattle’s neighborhoods, building partnerships and innovation. Over that same time, we emphasized our commitment to make a difference in our community, to work with key populations such as Seattle's youth and to take our resources beyond Library walls.
Additionally, we used the comprehensive community process to craft a Library Levy to improve services that had been cut during the prolonged economic recession -- open hours, the collection of books and materials, computers and online services and building maintenance. Voters approved the levy in 2012 to help restore Library services.
We also developed five Service Priorities to respond to the needs of the community, support the educational, cultural and economic health of the city and allow the Library to offer patrons more personal and meaningful experiences. The Service Priorities allow us to focus on youth, community engagement, culture and history, technology and access and re-imagining our library spaces.
Together, the Strategic Plan, Library Levy and Service Priorities allowed us to deliver a strong program of Library service to Seattle residents and users and make major repairs and improvements to our buildings.
As we reached the end of our five-year Strategic Plan, we continued to gather patron comments to inform the next phase of Library planning. In a rapidly changing world, particularly in the fields of technology and information access, it was clear that being nimble needed to be a key goal.