WALLA WALLA - Library officials are developing a strategic plan to solve the facility's challenges and set long-range goals. An online satisfaction survey this month will help.
"With this strategic planning process, we'll have a huge opportunity to obtain the input we need to set the right goals ... to acknowledge the challenges we face, capitalize on our strengths, and take advantage of opportunities," Library Director Beth Hudson wrote in an email to the Union-Bulletin.
Earlier this year, library officials hired local consultant Susan Newton of Development Strategies Plus to conduct and analyze the results of an online satisfaction survey and guide library officials in development of their strategic plan.
Newton's fee could be as high as $16,000.
"The library has a lot of decisions they have got to make, and it is always better to make them in a thoughtful manner, rather than just making them because they think it is a good plan or a good direction to go in," Newton said.
Hudson said the cost to develop the plan will be less than what the library pays for its online research databases, which include services such as Consumer Reports, the Ancestry Library and several other.
"I believe the investment we make now will pay off as we use the strategic plan to set long-range goals, inform our decisions, meet challenges and develop smart action plans," Hudson said.
Newton said 160 online surveys have been received and the plan is to collect the data until April 20, though that date may be extended. The survey has 32 questions and takes about 10 minutes.
The questions cover areas such as preferred library hours, materials and online services utilized, other libraries visited, number of card holders in household and general ages.
The survey does not record names or addresses and is confidential; it is also open to city, county and other residents, regardless if they have a library card.
"It doesn't matter even if you never have used the library because, quite honestly, if you never used the library, this is an opportunity to say what you want in a library that would make you use it," Newton said.
Go to the Walla Walla Library website at wallawallapubliclibrary.org and click on the survey link. Those without a computer or online connection can take the survey at the Walla Walla Library.