Long Range Plan 2014-2019


GEORGE HAIL FREE LIBRARY LONG RANGE PLAN
2014 - 2019
Patricia Redfearn, MLIS
Library Director
530 Main St. Warren, RI 02885
(401) 245-7686
www.georgehail.org
  
 
Approved by the Board of Trustees
June 18, 2014

John Millard, President
John Chaney
Carol Gafford
Jane Harrison
Harriet Lapointe
David McCarthy
Tony Rego
Paula Rooks
Thomas E. (Tucker) Wright

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

VISION STATEMENT.................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 3

MISSION STATEMENT................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 3

WARREN HISTORY..................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 3

DEMOGRAPHICS................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 4

POPULATION..................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 4

INCOME............................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 4

EDUCATION............................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 5

THE LIBRARY............................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 6

COLLECTIONS AND CIRCULATION………………………………………..........................................................................................................………………………….…8

EVALUATION OF 2007-2012 PLAN…………………….……….......................................................................................................…………………………………..……9

STATEMENT OF COMMUNITY NEEDS........................................................................................................................................................................................ 11

GOALS, OBJECTIVES, AND ACTIONS:  2014-2019.................................................................................................................................................................... 11

PLAN FOR EVALUATION.......................................................................................................................................................................................................... 13

 

 

 

 

VISION STATEMENT

The George Hail Free Library envisions a future in which the library’s collections, programs, services, and leadership help to ensure that

  • The community has the opportunity to enjoy an intellectually and culturally rich life
  • Every child and young adult has the opportunity to experience the pleasure of reading and the joy of learning
  • Library users of all ages have equal access to information with assistance from a friendly and helpful staff

MISSION STATEMENT

The George Hail Free Library is committed to providing materials and services that advance intellectual discovery and meet the educational, recreational and technological needs of the library community within the constraints of space, staffing and funding.

WARREN HISTORY

Warren, Rhode Island, is a small community of approximately 10,611 residents located on the eastern side of Narragansett Bay. It is the smallest town in Bristol County, Rhode Island, with a land mass of 5.8 square miles. Geographically, Warren is bordered by Barrington to its north and Bristol to its south. Its eastern limits border the town of Swansea, Massachusetts, and at its western boundary run the Palmer and Warren Rivers.

Warren is comprised of diverse ethnic groups. The town developed historically with the immigration of various groups, which led to certain areas developing into ethnic neighborhoods. Although these neighborhoods are less evident today than fifty or even twenty years ago, their relationship to the evolution of Warren is important. Imaginary geographical boundaries divide the town into several regions such as the North End, South End, Downtown, Metacom Avenue and East Warren and Touisset. Each section has special needs and concerns which will be examined so the library can respond accordingly.

The North End has seen succeeding ethnic populations come and go. This area had high levels of ethnic concentrations, which settled the region, then, in later years, moved on. Redevelopment and restoration projects were undertaken to revitalize this area of 19th century mill, factory tenements and older or historic homes. Proposed development of the Tourister Mill complex, if completed, will add significantly to Warren’s population.

The South End, on and off Main Street, is an area featuring mostly single family homes along with several upscale condominium complexes. Development over the last few years has been in mainly in-fill housing, which maintains the area’s character.

 The George Hail Library is located in the downtown area, a section built up before the concept of shopping malls came into existence. In addition to homes, many historic, this area contains numerous businesses, retail and antique shops, and restaurants and is considered a first class example of an old New England business district. It remains to this day the center of operation for town citizens and features town offices located in Town Hall, just north of the library. Also downtown is the Government Center, once the site of Joyce Street School, which houses the Police Department, the main branch of the Fire Department and branch offices of the state Registry of Motor Vehicles and the state Department of Children, Youth and Families. Pedestrian travel in this area is brisk.

Another significant area that has seen improvements and development in recent years is Water Street, running parallel to the Warren River. The site of the Town Beach and waterfront-related businesses, Water Street now features a Town Wharf along with shops, restaurants, artists' studios and residences. Also of note are two renovated mill complexes on Cutler Street off Child Street that have attracted small retail and other businesses along with artists' studios.

 The Metacom Avenue area, which developed randomly on rural farmland, is lined with fast food outlets, small commercial plazas and other sales-related establishments and is considered the town's newest commercial center. The recent “Metacom Avenue Plan” is designed to control and order development in this district.

Touisset, in the easternmost section of town, was once primarily agricultural, with a summer colony at its point. Today, the area has evolved into a year-round community. Touisset continues to add single-family homes and small housing developments. Nevertheless, much of its rural character has been preserved through purchase of development rights to farmlands.

 

DEMOGRAPHICS

 

POPULATION

According to the 2010 US Census, the Town of Warren is home to 10,611 persons. Warren’s population has declined by 749 residents in the last decade. Adults over the age of 21 represent 78.5% of the population. Residents in Warren within the 35-44 year old category represent 11.8% of the population, and those over 65 represent 26.5% of the population. These statistics indicate an aging population from the 2000 Census, which calculated that only 18% of Warren’s population was over 65. The number of children under the age of 19 residing in Warren has decreased over the last decade from 24% in 2000 to 20.7% in 2010.

The ethnic background of Warren is mainly white, with 96% of the population. African-Americans comprise 1.2% and those indicating two or more races is 1.6%. Other races include American Indian and Asian. Interestingly, 54.3% of Warren residents were born in Rhode Island.

 

INCOME

The median household income for Warren, as of 2010 was $54,609. This is a decrease from the median income for Warren at the time of the 2000 Census, which was $68,300. This decrease is probably a result of the Country and State’s economic decline.

According to the 2010 Census, 6,253 residents over the age of 16 are employed.  Of that number, 5,366 residents commuted to jobs outside of Warren. The majority of Warren residents were employed in management, business, science, and the arts. Other categories in which a large number of Warren residents indicated employment included sales, office and service occupations.

In 2010, Warren had 4,502 households, with 6.8% of families having income below the poverty level. These families included 10.9% of Warren’s population and 8.5% of children under 18 years of age.

Of Warren’s 4997 housing units, the majority are single family, detached homes. There are 1819 renter-occupied units, with most renters paying between $500 and $1000 per month.

 

 

EDUCATION

Of Warren’s population aged 25 and older, 14% did not graduate from high school, 30.55% have a high school diploma, and 29.8% have a Bachelor’s degree or higher.

Between 2008 and 2012, Warren had approximately 2,293 students over the age of 3 enrolled in school. Of these, 187 were enrolled in preschools, 95 in kindergarten, 463 in grades 1 to 4, 381 in grades 5 to 8, and 502 in high school. The remainder were enrolled in undergraduate, graduate or professional schools.

Warren is a part of the Bristol Warren Regional School District. Warren elementary students in Kindergarten through Grade 5 attend the Hugh Cole School.  There are 634 Warren students attending Hugh Cole as of October 1, 2013. Although the Kickemuit Middle School is located in Warren only 271 students are from Warren. The Mt Hope High School is located in Bristol with 392 Warren students in attendance.

 

THE LIBRARY

Library service in Warren dates back to the 1790's. A reading room was opened to the public in January 1871. Located in a building at the northeast comer of Main and Market streets, it was incorporated as "The Warren Public Reading Room Association." In 1877, the name was changed to the Warren Public Library and it was housed at the comer of Main and Baker streets.

In 1882, Martha Hail, the widow of prominent Warren citizen George Hail, made a bequest of $12,800 to the library in memory of her husband. The name was then changed to the George Hail Free Library. It was not until 1888 that enough money was raised to erect a building on the library's present site at 530 Main Street. With a fund of approximately $18,000, the building was constructed in the style of the famed architect Henry Hobson Richardson. The beamed interior and the stained glass windows are characteristic of the Victorian period while the structure's exterior incorporates castle-like elements from Romanesque architecture in the treatment of granite walls and rounded arches.

A substantial renovation and restoration project costing approximately $250,000 was done in the late 1970's. At that time, a room on the second floor was dedicated as the Charles Whipple Greene Museum and the children’s room and staff room located in the basement. The first and second floors were restored to their original Victorian design.

An eleven-member Board of Trustees -- with two of its members appointed by the Warren Town Council -- governs the George Hail Library. There is also a Friends of the Library volunteer group, which assists with fundraising. Although not a town department, the library receives the majority of its operating revenue from an annual appropriation from the Town of Warren. These funds are supplemented by the Grant-in-Aid to Libraries from the State of Rhode Island and from monies generated by the library through sources such as late fees, donations and fund-raising events.

The George Hail Library is a participant in the Ocean State Libraries network, which means the library is able to provide patrons with materials not available on the premises through a shared network that includes public libraries in other cities and towns. Services to patrons have increased over the past 25 years. In addition to lending books, the library also lends DVDs and books on CDs, audiocassettes and videocassettes. There are also on-site computers available for public use providing patrons with Internet access. In 2006, wireless access was added.

In 1990, the library embarked on a project to computerize the entire collection. In 2002, the library established its own website at www.georgehail.org, which furnishes patrons with additional information concerning the library, its services and the availability of materials. Today, nearly 100 % of the collection is available through the on-line catalogue.

Other services at the George Hail Library include children's programs, such as story hours, programs geared to families, and adult programming, such as book club groups, lectures and musical events.

Adhering to a state mandate, in late 2002 the position of part-time reference librarian was added to the staff. Presently three positions, namely the director, children's librarian and reference librarian, require library science degrees.

In 2014, the George Hail Library remains committed to its mission, to meet the educational, informational, recreational and technological needs of its patrons within the constraints of its budget.

 

COLLECTIONS AND CIRCULATION

2009 – 2013 (5-YEARS)

 

CIRCULATION STATISTICS

 

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

Adult

34231

36254

37821

38700

36746

Kids/Teens

17159

15122

11775

12103

12616

Other

152

180

170

886

81

Total

51542

51556

49766

51689

49443

 

 Table 1.This table demonstrates the number of items that are borrowed by either adults or kids/teens. The figures represent the circulation of books, periodicals, DVD’s, music CD’s, books on CD and downloadable items. Museum passes and use of microfilm are counted as “Other.”

 

LIBRARY PROGRAMS

 

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

Adult

67

127

92

125

80

Kids

286

124

202

250

133

Teens

1

4

8

12

25

Total

354

255

302

387

238

 

 Table 2.The Library offers a variety of programs to its community. This table records attendance at story hours, family programs, outreach to the community, adult programming and the like.

 

REFERENCE QUESTIONS

 

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

Reference Questions

5306

4140

4493

3226

3154

 

 Table 3.This table shows the number of reference questions asked and answered. Reference questions look for a specific author, title, or information on a particular subject or topic. It does not include technical help with a computer or other business machines.

 

TOTAL COLLECTION

Year

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

Total Collection

34014

39762

32207

33320

32731

 Table 4.The collection consists of books, videos, DVD’s, audiobooks, reference materials and magazines.

 

 

EVALUATION:  2007-2012 PLAN

 

The goals of the previous plan were achieved except for the following:

 

Goal 1: Collections and Services for the Community

I. Collections and services for children and young adults (YA)

            Objective B. Start programs for YA/teens

                        Strategy 1. Start a book discussion group in the summer to discuss books on reading lists

            Objective C. Work with English Departments in local schools to have summer reading lists before the end of the school year

                        Strategy 1. Develop contacts with English teachers and school librarians as to homework/assignments

 

Objective B and C were not met because students usually wait until the end of the summer to start summer reading assignments and personnel changes at the schools made establishing contacts and obtaining book lists difficult.

     

     II. Collections and Services for Adults

            Objective D. Improve patron access to new material

                        Strategy 2. Produce a monthly newsletter or list of new fiction and non-fiction

                        Strategy 3. Develop a page on the library’s website for new fiction and non-fiction lists

 

Strategies 2 and 3 were not achieved because of insufficient staff time and difficulty extracting items from order forms.

 

            Objective E. Find ways to improve the non-fiction circulation by 10%

                        Strategy 1. Contact local artists to talk about their area of expertise

                        Strategy 4. Start a memoir-writing group

                        Strategy 6. Start a film program series based on the Film Movement Series

 

Strategies 1 and 4 were not achieved because of a lack of patron interest, and Strategy 6 was not achieved because the films are all foreign films rated R. However, the Library does host other film programs.

 

            Objective F. Increase access to library technology

                        Strategy 1. Start a computer-mentoring program with teens helping adults

 

Although access to library technology was increased through acquisition of additional computers, Strategy 1 was not achieved because coordinating teen and adult schedules was impossible.


 Goal 2: Sufficient staff so they can work effectively in a positive environment

            Objective B Increase staffing so that 2 people are on duty at all times in the Adult area

                        Strategy 1 Budget for Pages to assist the staff

 

The depressed economy and resulting budget constraints prevented achievement of this objective and strategy.

 

Goal 4: Increase Marketing and Funding to support the above goals and to enhance visibility for the library

Objective A Increase membership in the Friends of the Library

Strategy 1 Improve publicity for Friends

Strategy 2 Recruit parents who use the Children’s Room for membership in the Friends

Strategy 3 Establish a Board with a rotating membership and rotating elected officers

 

Objective A and strategies 1 through 3 were not achieved because strong leadership did not evolve.

 

Goal 5 Maintain Museum Collections

Objective A Improve access to museum collections

Strategy 1 Recruit 1-2 more volunteers so the Museum can be open more often

 

Lack of volunteers prevented achievement of this goal.

 

Goal 6 Sufficient Space for the Library’s Collections and Services

Objective 1 To find the most efficient use of Croade Street property

Strategy 1 Hire a Library Building Consultant to advise the Board on space needs and the best use of this property.

 

This objective was not pursued because the Board of Trustees worked on a plan for a library addition.

 

STATEMENT OF COMMUNITY NEEDS

Based on the Warren Comprehensive Plan’s recognition that the George Hail Free Library should continue to expand and update its resources, analysis of community feedback, and observations of other East Bay libraries, the following needs were identified:

  • A separate meeting room for programming for adults, children or teenagers.
  • Quiet spaces for studying. 
  • Dedicated space for young adults.
  • An elevator for access to the upper floors
  • More computers for public use
  • Additional parking
  • Updated and improved outside signage and lighting
  • Greater outreach to the community
  • More active Friends of the Library
  • Extended hours of operation

 

GOALS, OBJECTIVES, AND ACTIONS:  2014-2019

 

Goal 1. Maintain the physical library structure

 

Objective 1.1: Conduct a complete building assessment to determine repairs, upkeep and preservation of this historic structure

                        Action: Approach Roger Williams University about doing a building assessment

 

            Objective 1.2: Formulate a schedule to prioritize needed work

                        Action: Develop a list of maintenance projects and associated costs

           

            Objective 1.3: Research funding options to get the work done in a timely fashion

                        Action: Develop possible grant funding sources

                        Action: Budget to include major repairs and maintenance

 

Goal 2. Maintain technology resources

 

            Objective 2.1: Keep technology current

                         Action: Develop a log of technology, both hardware and software

                        Action: Design a schedule for replacing computers, peripherals, and office equipment

                         Action: Develop a budget to purchase and replace equipment as needed

                        Action: Create a budget line item to purchase and replace equipment

 

Goal 3.Increase participation in and use of social media to promote the Library

 

            Objective 3.1: Encourage the community to interact with the Library on social

                                     media

                        Action: Encourage the public to register online for programs and museum passes                                  

           

Goal 4. Increase Services and Hours of Operation

 

Objective 4.1: Increase both adult and kids/teens programming by 5% per year

            Action: Add 4 new programs for adults

            Action: Add 7 new programs for kids/teens

           

Objective 4.2 Increase outreach to the community

                        Action:  Develop service for the homebound

                        Action:  Encourage the staff to speak or provide services outside of library

 

            Objective 4.3: Fund extra hours or reallocate existing hours

                        Action: Investigate alternate scheduling

                        Action: Determine best hours of operation

                       

Goal 5. Provide sufficient staffing

           

            Objective 5.1 Maximize staff hours

                        Action: Increase funding to bring Reference Librarian position to full time

                        Action: Increase funding to have all part-timers work same number of hours

                        Action:  Increase number of staff

 

Goal 6. Maintain the Library’s collection of materials

 

            Objective 6.1 Continue to develop, evaluate, and weed the collection to stay current

                        Action: Find space for an additional DVD shelving unit

                        Action: Request the staff to create displays that encourage circulation

           

Goal 7: Raise awareness of the George Hail Library and the Charles Whipple Green Museum

 

            Objective 7.1: Create informational pamphlets highlighting the Library and its services

                        Action: Contact artists and writers to work with the Library to develop brochures

 

            Objective 7.2 Increase staffing for the Museum

                        Action: Develop a docent program

 

Goal 8: Reinvigorate the Friends of the George Hail Library group

 

            Objective 8.1 Recruit a leader to Chair the group

                        Action: Publicize the leadership opportunity

 

 

Goal 9: Support and promote the George Hail Free Library

        

         Objective 9.1: Advocate in the Community for the Library and Museum

                     Action: Be more visible in the Library and at programs

                     Action: Advocate for funding and assist fundraising efforts

                     Action: Consult the director on a regular basis

                     Action: Attend Town Council budget hearings and the Financial Town Meeting

     

PLAN FOR EVALUATION

 

The Board of Trustees will evaluate the plan annually and update it as necessary.