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October 1, 2008

OCLS Launches New Strategic Plan

The Orange County Library System and our employees have been involved in creating our new strategic plan since February 2008. Representatives from multiple library locations and major library function areas were invited to participate in the process, ensuring input from a wide cross section of employees, including public service staff, librarians, technology staff, support staff and managers.

We undertook a review of the year's customer service survey results, results from our annual employee satisfaction survey, and numerous statistical views of the organization. Aligning this input with our Mission Statement, approved by the Board in October 2007, was key to our strategic plan development.

After months of discussion and evaluation we agreed on five strategic priorities for the organization.

• Marketing and Recognition: We will develop OCLS as the gold standard for public libraries
• Innovation: We will ensure continuous innovation
• Fiscal Excellence: We will maximize the public's Return on Investment
• Communication: We will develop and optimize communication
• Staff Empowerment: We will empower staff to achieve their potential

With our strategies in place, we asked for staff volunteers to form Action Teams around each of those strategies. Once again our goal was representation from a wide range of locations and functional areas of the library. Nearly 60 staff participated in the process.

The Action Teams were charged with developing action plans to assist the Library in successful achievement of the established strategic goals. Teams worked for several months reviewing the library's current practices, what was happening in other libraries across the country, and what was happening in other industries.

In June 2008, the Action Teams presented their plans to the Strategic Planning Team. The Strategic Planning Teams evaluated the plans based on their affordability vs. impact, urgency, and alignment with the Mission Statement and strategic goal.

The resulting Strategic Plan focuses on developing OCLS as the best organization we can be. This new strategic plan will create an efficiently operating organization with strong external and internal communication. We will be an organization attentive to staff and the power of their contributions, dedicated to innovating our future.

Many thanks to the Action Team and Strategic Planning Team members who worked diligently and with great dedication to develop this challenging and relevant Strategic Plan. There is no doubt that our customers will enjoy the fruits of their labors.

Mary Anne Hodel
Library Director and CEO

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