The MLS Executive Board approved the Strategic Plan for 2013-2015 at its October 22, 2012 meeting.  The Plan is brief, including a one-page snapshot view.  It recognizes MLS’s core values including the recognition that Massachusetts libraries are essential and that member libraries represent a wide variety of types, sizes, and focus.   MLS’s original mission was confirmed during the planning process and a tag line was added—“MLS makes libraries and librarians stronger.”  The 2013-2015 Strategic Plan is available here.

We thank the hundreds of member library staff members and stakeholders who provided input and comments during the planning process that began in 2011.  “I’m pleased we had such a huge flood of input from librarians around the state. Their participation allowed the Strategic Planning Task Force to feel confident in moving ahead with this shared vision for the future of MLS,” said Jeff Klapes, Chair of the Strategic Planning Task Force.

The Plan calls for the important step of measuring progress along two lines—library satisfaction and patrons’ perception of value and actual use of services.  MLS will be calling on the membership to assist us in this important evaluation.

The strategic themes include innovation, connecting libraries, and MLS leadership in resource sharing and expanding access to electronic content.  “This new Plan provides clear direction for MLS to provide relevant services and empower libraries with training and professional development opportunities to meet the future,” said Dee Magnoni, MLS President.

Members of the MLS staff are excited and ready to initiate the strategic objectives and initiatives that are included in the Plan of Service as a result of the planning process.   We believe that these objectives will help build library capacity to meet patron needs during this time transition to a greater reliance on electronic resources in libraries.  Many libraries are facing skyrocketing demand to provide e-resources while most patrons still rely on traditional books and physical media.

MLS’s strategic objectives were chosen to meet the needs of Massachusetts libraries within the framework of the Plan, e.g., to play a leading role in expanding access to online content and its discovery by Massachusetts library users; to develop connections between member libraries and to expand their contributions to the MLS community; and to enhance access to practical resource sharing options for Massachusetts residents.