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Strategic Plan 2014 - 2017

Your Plan | User First | Spaces & Places | Collections & Resources | Technology | Stewardship

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London Public Library
Strategic Plan 2014 - 2017:  Library Space is Community Place
Our Purpose

LPL strengthens people and neighbourhoods by creating connections that enrich lives, inspire discovery, foster creativity, and expand possibilities.

London Public Library’s new Purpose Statement, as adopted by the London Public Library Board, April, 2014.

Our Values

Values are what drive us.  They are fundamental. These endure across plans, initiatives and actions.  They inform who we are, how we act and what we do.

We believe in the community values of:
  • access
  • community engagement
  • diversity & inclusiveness
  • open to all & non-judgmental
  • intellectual freedom
  • privacy
  • respect
  • service excellence
We believe in the corporate values of:
  • innovation
  • leadership
  • stewardship
  • transparency
Library Space is Community Place

We couldn’t be more excited to share with you London Public Library’s 2014 – 2017 Strategic Plan, Library Space is Community Place.  Our hope is that you will hear your voice resonating through the priorities and initiatives identified within. 

When we set out to develop the new Strategic Plan, we were driven by the knowledge that, despite high levels of Library use and regular positive feedback, we must ask challenging questions and listen carefully to our community, our staff and to essential research. We needed to do this so that London Public Library stays relevant to the lives of all Londoners and to make sure the Library continues to be a place that is vibrant, dynamic and moving forward.

A wide-reaching community and staff engagement process extended through the latter half of 2013 and gave us the opportunity to hear directly from over 7,500 Londoners. 

We heard that Londoners LOVE their Library, which is wonderful validation of the range and quality of library services we offer. Importantly, people shared tremendous ideas for how we can become even more relevant and essential to their quality of life.  Input ranged from practical suggestions such as more electrical outlets and comfortable chairs in library branches to ideas for collaborative spaces designed to support networking and creativity to expressions of the things that help individuals and neighbourhoods to be strong, vibrant, caring and connected.

This Strategic Plan sets the compass for the next four years. Our conversations with you about our shared future have only just begun.  Please check our website regularly for news about initiatives and actions related to our Strategic Plan.  We hope that you see value in continuing to share your ideas, suggestions and comments with us.  Library space is YOUR place!


Susanna Hubbard Krimmer, CEO and Chief Librarian, London Public Library

Gloria Leckie, Chair, London Public Library Board

Our Process

To genuinely reflect the vision, needs and expectations of our community with this Plan, we worked hard to hear from as many voices as possible.


Staff from across our library system researched emerging trends and innovative practices in customer service, technology and public space.

Socio-demographic and community asset mapping of London neighbourhoods and our library service areas provided valuable data.

Interviews with thought-leaders provided valuable insight.

Community Engagement

Street Teams of staff interviewed 480 Londoners in 27 locations, including at skateboard and dog parks, bus stops, markets and festivals.  Questions probed the future role of the Library and its spaces in their life and that of our community.

More than 6,700 Londoners took our online survey over a three-week period.  We heard from those who currently use the library in a variety of ways, those who primarily use our digital services and those who do not use the library. We received hundreds of valuable comments and suggestions that gave us further insight into community priorities now and for the future.

We hosted Stakeholder Labs with representatives of numerous local groups and audiences, such as the local technology sector, accessibility advocates, newcomers, The Friends of the Library and our volunteers.  These conversations about the future asked our participants to be brutally honest about the relevancy of London Public Library to our community’s future.

Young families who visited the Library’s activity area at the Western Fair, were invited to Draw It Up to show us what their ideal library space would include.

At Community Camp, the community came together in one place at one time to have a collaborative discussion to help us shape the priorities which would guide the final stages of the strategic plan development.

And, as always, we received valuable input directly through email, phone calls and in-person discussions at our locations.

Staff Engagement

Our staff, with their roots deep in the community and on the front lines of service, completed extensive research and also participated as Street Team members and Stakeholder Lab facilitators. 

After reviewing the rich findings that came out of the research and community engagement processes, more than 20 roundtable sessions were hosted by our CEO across the system to gather input from all staff. 

Strategic Priorities
Strategic Priority: User First

We will provide an even more personalized service experience.

To achieve this we will:

  • Establish a User First philosophy and service expectations that will enhance the culture of customer and community service excellence across the system.
  • Mobilize the organization and staff to support the user first philosophy.
  • Improve community access to collections, technology tools and other resources by aligning lending services with the User First philosophy.
Your Voice

Increase access to information and common space.

Study rooms need longer than the 2-hour limit.

More hours!

Provide greater access for individuals that cannot attend because of transport issues.

A period longer than 90 minutes for use of library computers would sometimes be helpful.

It is difficult for seniors to access the bottom shelves, hard to see and even harder to get back up!

Book clubs offered during the daytime.

Strategic Priority: Spaces and Places

We will provide exceptional and inspiring public places.

To achieve this we will:
  • Revitalize and re-energize the central library.
  • Revitalize and re-energize branch spaces.
  • Build a new branch library to serve the southeast area of London.

Your Voice

Need more lounge chairs and couches.

Coffee in more locations!

More quiet areas for reading and study.

Keep neighbourhood libraries different with their own feel.

I need quiet areas with plugs.

Smaller spaces to get together with others, work on projects, talk, relax.

Puzzles in the Central Library are a brilliant idea and has made me come to the library even more often! I would like more of that!

A conference calling room so people could have the opportunity to do video conference calling.

Would be cool to have a place to make things, be creative together.

More space for social interactions.

Strategic Priority: Collections and Resources

We will expand and improve access through a variety of formats and delivery platforms.

To achieve this we will:

  • Enhance library collections and resources and improve the modes of delivery to serve diverse users with a variety of needs and expectations.
  • Increase access to content of enduring value held in the London Room.

Your Voice

Computerize material in London Room.

Easier access to archives - more awareness of your collection.

More current magazines, movies, bestsellers.

Waiting list for reserved/popular books is too long.

Newspapers from other countries.

Increase selection and scope of your magazines.

Update your collection of movies.

Video games (especially for Wii!) to borrow and play.

Strategic Priority: Current and Future Technology

We will harness the potential of technology and mobilize our technological response.

To achieve this we will:
  • Develop a technology strategy that incorporates short and long-term plans.

Your Voice

Better technology, e.g. computers with photoshop.

Instruct people how to use technology.

Expand your internet presence.

I want a place to see new technology.

Up-to-date computer skills training.

Better quality printer for resumes and high quality printing needs.

Strategic Priority: Stewardship

We will demonstrate LPL’s leadership, value and return on investment to the citizens of London.

To achieve this we will:

  • Enact a “Value, Influence, & Positioning (VIP) Strategy”.
  • Enact LPL’s Environmental Strategy.
  • Create and implement a sustainable fleet management plan.
  • Implement LPL space leasing and meeting room rental financial sustainability strategies.
  • Undertake library governance review (Library Board).

Your Voice

This place is amazing.  You should let more people know about it.

The library needs to teach by showing not by telling.

There is a great opportunity to engage people who might not usually be engaged and complement what the library is already doing.

I had no idea that you did so much!

Hospitals and libraries are the two institutions most deserving of my taxes.

You should do a better job of capitalizing on your position as a community leader.

Make sure our leaders know that we love you!

A city without a library doesn’t sound like it has its priorities straight.

As a centre of knowledge, the library’s use should be maximized.

I have had a library card for 46 years.  It is the most valuable card anyone can have. London Public Library is the best.

I think we need to realize that the library environment, as a community’s place, is just as much the responsibility of the community as it is the library’s.

Measuring Success

We will be accountable to you. 

Over the next 4 years, we will monitor the achievement of specific results in order to ensure that our strategic priorities are being met. These are some of the specific measures with which we will track the progress of our strategic plan.

  • Increased customer satisfaction levels
  • Increased strategic alliance/partner participation and satisfaction levels
  • Increased/high attendance at the Central Library (currently 1 million per year)
  • Increased/high attendance at the branches
  • High customer satisfaction level with revitalized Central and branch libraries
  • Successful introduction of new online options relating to membership and borrowing
  • Increased usage of collections
  • Increased patron satisfaction with digital technology
  • Increased Library user and supporter testimonials
  • Increased awareness of Library value to the community by elected officials
  • Achievement of sustainable funding levels
  • Increased donor support to the Library
  • Library engagement in green initiatives
  • Reduced energy costs
  • Attainment of specific targets related to fleet operations
  • Increased revenue from leased spaces
What You Value About Your Library

Keen, plugged-in staff with a real helper mentality.

I find that it is a focused, free, and considerate space to take in information and culture without timelines and pressure. Unlike school, or my job, I am my own agent in the library.

I like the buzz when the library is busy and people are all busy doing their own thing.

Being surrounded by so much information is awesome - your book collection is great.

It is a destination, and after I have made my Saturday stop at the library, I feel satisfied.

All the resources, helpful people, the serenely quiet areas, and yet, something new always going on in one of the meeting rooms.

I’m surrounded by books and people and lots of potential.

It’s a space that brings people together from all different communities and allows them to gain new forms of knowledge and experiences.

Everything.  Sometime I line up at 9:00.  There are always more than 50 people in the line-up. So much interesting enriching information is just sitting there waiting for me to look at it; it gives me a feeling that the whole world is available to me.

Feelings of familiarity, belonging, community, and diversity. Always something new and interesting.

AWESOME staff!

My son said it best when he said “I love how everyone is just so happy and nice. It makes you feel glad you came.”

The library always seems to be one step ahead of me. I like that fact about it.

I like that it’s a free community space where you can learn, or receive help, no questions asked. It represents the best of what we can do when we work selflessly together to raise up the community as a whole, leaving no one behind.

Being able to read, listen and get exposure to books and music I would not normally due to the cost of purchasing said items.

I love the library so much.  I literally don’t know what my life would be like without public libraries and I am particularly thankful for the library system.

What I like about being in the Library is that you’re there with other people who like being there--I guess, it’s a sense of community, even if you don’t know many of those other people.

So many experiences and new things to check out all in one place.

It’s an intangible, but the air of intentional focus in the library is inspiring, and improves your own sense of focus. When everyone else is clearly engaged, it gives you permission to be engaged yourself, and improves your own sense of concentration.

It feels like a home to me. I always learn something when I come to the library.

Richness of resources, help always available.

Let's shape our future together.  We're listening:

Phone: 519-661-4600

TTY: 519-432-8835

Facebook /londonlibrary

Twitter @londonlibrary