Thursday, November 3, 2016

Strategic Plan FY2017 - 2020

MCPL strategic plan logo
Did you know that MCPL just released its Strategic Plan for FY2017-2020? Renowned business leader Peter Drucker once said, "Long-range planning does not deal with the future decisions, but with the future of present decisions." This is exactly what we are doing with our strategic plan. We are making decisions now that affect both what we currently are doing and what we are planning to do to meet our goal. Our goal is to provide access to services, resources, and programs that are important to you, the residents of Montgomery County.

How are we planning on doing that? Glad you asked! We are focusing on on four areas in our strategic plan. Here are some highlights about those areas.

Literate Montgomery: MCPL will provide opportunities to encourage language and life-skills literacies and lifelong learning.

  • Early Literacy/Reading Readiness: Increase diverse storytimes, resources for parents and caregivers, and STEM Go! Kits in all branches, and create the Jan Jablonski Early Literacy Training Center at the Noyes Library for Young Children.
  • English Language Literacy: Expand resources, services, and programs for English language learners.
  • Health Literacy: Increase programs and resources on personal health, wellness, and nutrition.
  • Digital Literacy: Increase programs and resources for all ages to interact with and learn about new technologies.
  • Financial Literacy: Provide programs and resources for all ages on personal finances.
  • Environmental Literacy: Increase resources and programs for all ages on environmental topics and green strategies.

Connected Montgomery: MCPL will provide opportunities to encourage inclusive and engaged communities.

globe - world langugages
  • Diversity: Create new programs to reflect language and cultural diversity, increase translation of promotional materials in the main languages spoken in the county, provide opportunities for residents to share family histories through oral history recordings, and hire an ADA coordinator to expand services to people with disabilities.
  • Customer Reach: Reach customers with targeted marketing campaigns using new media and technologies, and increase our presence at community events.
  • Civic Engagement: Provide resources to new residents, increase citizenship classes and naturalization ceremonies, and provide programs and resources to learn about current events.
  • Collaborative Spaces: Create multi-purpose spaces to promote collaboration as well as provide resources that encourage customers to build, experiment, and innovate.

Strong and Vibrant Montgomery: MCPL will provide opportunities to develop, increase, and hone workforce skills.

    Career Online High School
  • Skills for Gainful Employment: Provide access to high school diploma classes and online classes. Increase programs and resources in job skills.
  • Area and Regional Business and Government Areas Coordinator: Create opportunities for businesses to learn about other business, non-profits, and government agencies in the area.
  • Small Business Support: Increase small business programs and resources. Create business centers at all branches.
  • Skills for Job Seekers: Increase programs and resources in job searching and application skills.

Delighted Montgomery: MCPL will provide exceptional customer experiences by supporting and training staff, and reinforcing our infrastructure.

Inspire - Kensington Park
  • Inviting Spaces: Refresh branches, create collaboration spaces, and enhance accessibility.
  • Customer Driven Decision Making: Implement multi-channel mechanisms for gathering and evaluating customer feedback. Improve and adapt library services and spaces to meet customer needs.
  • Responsive Materials Process: Decrease wait times for new materials and match branch collections with community interests. 
  • Enhanced Programming: Create programs to reflect the diversity of our communities as well as increase programs and resources for independent use.
  • Relevant Technologies through the 21st Century Technology Funds: Provide up to date technologies and training that reflects the current and future needs of customers.
  • Effective Partnerships: Work with county agencies to provide a broader range of resources to customers.
  • Common Sense Policies & Procedures: Eliminate barriers to service, rewrite policies and procedures in plain language, and translate those policies and procedures into the main languages spoken in the county.
  • Effective Information Services: Conduct technology classes and help customers navigate e-resources.
  • Staff Recognition: Support staff with introducing innovative ways to meet community needs through programs and services. Encourage staff to share successes with all branches.
  • Staff Skills Support: Continually improve the customer experience through staff training and development. Encourage knowledge sharing among staff.
  • Staff Engagement with the Community: Create resources to introduce new customers to library services and identify ways for the library to address community needs.

Learn more about the MCPL Strategic Plan FY2017-2020. Also follow us on Twitter to see how we are implementing strategic plan.

We are excited about the opportunity to support, encourage, and inspire you to learn and grow!



  1. MCPL's strategic plan is ambitious, but very appropriate given the diversity of the population that it seeks to serve. The MCPL may be the lone reason I am able to tolerate paying a third level of income tax annually.~ E. Bing Inocencio,Ph.D.

  2. I am a writing coach and can contribute to your program by turning "just OK writers" into highly skilled writers. I use a method that avoids the common difficulty of new writers who say, "I cannot learn to write well because I don't even know what to write about." The technique we will use in becoming skilled writers involves learning how to edit the work of poor writers. We will learn by correcting the work of others. We will start by following just a few simple guidelines that you will absorb effortlessly into your own writing. This will not be a course in creative writing. It will be a course in adaptive writing, creating material that others read with ease, with interest, and with retention. If you can use me in the new drive of our county library system to help our people excel in school, in their employment and in their personal lives, send me a simple message on this site, adresssed to Beegee. Tell me how to contact you. We will find a way to work together.

    1. Thank you for the information. Please feel free to contact our Public Service Administrator in charge of programming. Her name is Mary Ellen Icaza and you can contact her on this page.

  3. Please improve your treatment of user recommendations for purchase of books. You could at least inform a requester if and when a requested book is actually purchased. It is not reasonable to expect the requester to search the catalogue daily in case the book has finally been acquired! The library should also be open to requests for classic books not already on the shelves, even though their publication date is further in the past.

    1. MCPL values and seeks to obtain input from the community. Please note that the "Purchase Suggestion" page states if a title "has a publication or production date older than two years, it will generally not be considered for purchase." It is not an absolute that all publications older than two years would not be considered for purchase. We purchase new copies of Shakespeare, for instance, as our existing copies of his works wear out from use.
      Likewise, the "Purchase Suggestion" page states that staff "cannot respond individually to each suggestion." Hundreds of requests are received each month from the community. The information on the "Purchase Suggestion" page gives a three month timeline as a starting point for customers to check item availability in the MCPL's public catalog; occasionally it may take more time before an item is available at the branches.

  4. Thank you for your thoughtful response. A couple of further points: I would like to note that replacing worn-out copies does not suffice to bring in worthy titles of more than 2 years ago that have been overlooked. For example, the very spotty poetry collection could benefit from the Irish poets published over the last couple of decades by Wake Forest University Press.

    Naturally the staff cannot respond to every request for a title. But staff notifying the community of accepted titles would be a courtesy that would spare the individual of a catalogue search that is theoreticallly endless.

    1. Thank you for your thoughtful feedback on these areas. If you would like to discuss this matter further, I suggest reaching out directly to the Senior Librarian in charge of Selection & Interlibrary Loan, who can be contacted via our website: She will be able to discuss this with you in a more informed and detailed way.