Fairfax County Public Library Community Engagement Project

September 16th, 2016

We just completed another amazing project.  The Fairfax County Public Library Board of Trustees wanted to undertake a community engagement project before starting strategic planning.  CIVICTechnologies and our partner, The Ivy Group, were hired for the project.  Working with the Library Board, we created a comprehensive plan for gathering input from the residents of fast growing Fairfax County.  The input included a telephone survey, an online survey for the public and library staff, three community forums, seven focus groups, advocate interviews, stakeholder interviews, department interviews, and a library leadership working session.

The results were synthesized into a short:) report and presented to the Library Board of Trustees and Fairfax County residents.  The findings ran the gamut from expected to surprising.

Expected—the library needs to provide traditional library services while developing an evolving service model to take advantage of new technologies and to support a busy/active community.  Fairfax County Public Library staff began addressing the shifting service modes during the biannual staff day—Serving the Patrons of the Future.

Unexpected—a number of the stakeholder groups are in opposition rather than agreement.   The library needs to find ways to minimize the opposition and maximize cooperation.

Expected—the public face of the library, including its brand, virtual services, marketing, and social media needs significant investment.

Interested in the full report and findings?  A press release from Fairfax County Public Library has links to the report and the televised presentation.  Check it out here.

To discuss what a project like this could do for your library, give me a call.

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