Library to start Strategic Planning for the 2017-2019 Plan of Service

In terms of the Alberta Libraries Act, all public libraries in the Province must provide library services to residents in accordance with a Plan of Service approved by the Public Library Services Branch of Alberta Municipal Affairs. The Plan of Service is the principal tool for managing a library. It assists the Library Board to govern at a strategic level and aligns the library with the needs and expectations of the community.
        Accordingly, the Okotoks Library Board has embarked upon strategic planning for the compilation of the new Plan of Service to cover the three-year period 2017 to 2019. This is not, however, a purely statutory requirement as the Okotoks Public Library (OPL) is currently serving a resident population of 27 000+, not including patrons from the MD of Foothills, in a facility and with library staff tailored for 20 000 residents. So, while adapting to the needs and expectations of an ever-expanding community, the Okotoks Library Board will also address the urgent requirement for either an expansion of the present facility or an entirely new library.
        The Planning Process for the new Plan of Service was approved by the Library Board on 14 January. A Planning Committee, consisting of Marius Oelschig, Sharon Nichols, Lori Neufeld and Tanelle Nash has been appointed.
Regarding the Planning Process, three of the guidelines for planning state that:

  •  Community leaders and the general public of Okotoks must be consulted during the planning process.
  • The planning process must be transparent, inclusive and open to public scrutiny.
  • Every effort must be made to inform the general public of this planning process via the media and the library’s electronic and social media capabilities.

Consequently, all residents of Okotoks and the MD of Foothills, current and potential future patrons of the OPL, are hereby informed that strategic planning has commenced and that a minimum of three public meetings are to be held in order to canvass the needs and expectations of the community. These meetings are scheduled for March 2016 and will be facilitated by Albert Culture and Tourism. Dates and venues for these meetings will be provided as soon as they are available. Patrons are encouraged to watch the press for details, or to visit the OPL website at www.okotokslibrary.ca 

Lorena Engen
Chair: The Town of Okotoks Library Board
15 January 2016