The work at Johnson County Library never stops

We are getting close to the opening date for Monticello, and there is a lot going on surrounding the opening of a new location. The work of the library does not stop, and I thought you might like to know about some of the other things that are occurring at JCL.

The KU Public Management Center has finished the community engagement report that we will use to inform the strategic plan. Over 15,000 people participated through either the online surveys or stakeholder interviews. Our managers talked with business owners, city officials, educators and teachers. They had conversations with the Library Foundation, Friends and Library Board. They talked with regional library systems and with you, our staff.

I am happy to report that the public thinks we are doing a good job. Especially in traditional library service areas such as the collection, programming and circulation. Our work in early childhood development got top marks.

There is always room to grow and improve. In the areas of communication and in providing services to low income patrons we need greater focus. We heard that we could do more in nurturing and supporting businesses. The report advised that we continue to watch emerging trends in technology, aging and inclusion.

Overall, the report from KU showed that the public understands that JCL adds value to the community and there is a high degree of support for public libraries.

Telling people about the services that libraries offer is something that all libraries across the country find challenging. This year we have been working with some outside consultants to help us understand the next steps we need to take. Venice Communication has just completed a study of our present marketing and communication plan and the administrative team is reviewing their findings.

At the end of June, the Howe Street Group will be presenting a report that looks at how the strategic plans of the Friends, Foundation and Library align. They are going to report on our external and internal lines of communication and advise the administrative team on changes that could be made. Throughout the year, we have been working with Nextpage to produce a monthly report for the board and other external stakeholders about the activities that occur within our library. It is my hope that we will soon be sharing this newsletter with you.

All these reports are arriving at once. It is my goal to have them available for you to read in the early part of July. I would be interested in your thoughts and feedback.

I have some really good news, the Library Foundation’s new website is now in production. This was a joint project involving the CX department and the Foundation staff. Check out the new site, here: https://www.jocolibraryfoundation.org/

I think the new images, stories and layout provide a fresh new feel that is representative of the work of the Library Foundation.

If you had not heard, the Library Board has approved staff to move forward with the City of Merriam to build a new Antioch. The new library will be adjacent to the new Merriam Community Center. The City of Merriam is donating the land and we will be selling the existing Antioch library and using that money to pay for some of the new Antioch Library. The projected opening date for the new Antioch library is 2022.

At Lenexa, they have installed the last iron girder and are pouring the concrete for the first and second floors. They will be working on the exterior of the building and then will move to interior work.

The roofing at Central library is just about complete. Remember that we broke this project into three phases due to the cost. This is the third phase, and it is good to know that the roof is in good repair.

Finally, I am happy to report that our own Angel Tucker was recognized at ALA this year as a 2018 Mover and Shaker. Well done Angel!

There is lots going on and I hope to use this blog as a way to keep everyone updated