Long Range Plan 2020-2025

 

 

 

 

 

GEORGE HAIL FREE LIBRARY

 

LONG RANGE PLAN

 

September 2020- June 2025

 

 

Patricia Redfearn, MLIS
Library Director

530 Main St. Warren, RI 02885
(401) 245-7686

www.georgehail.org

 

 

 

 

Approved by the Board of Trustees

October 2020

 

 

John Millard, President

John Chaney

Cheryl Caggiano

Carol Gafford

Clara Mendonca

Paula Rooks

James Toll

Thomas E. (Tucker) Wright

 

 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

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

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

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

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

POPULATION............................................................................................................................................ 3

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.

 

 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.  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. One success is Hope & Main, which is located in a former school. A food business incubator, it provides shared kitchen space and storage for anyone learning the business. The downtown area 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. Municipal parking is also here, but the town could use more.  Pedestrian activity 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. There is no town water which helps to keep development down.

DEMOGRAPHICS

 

POPULATION

 

According to the 2010 US Census, the Town of Warren was 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.

 

         Health care and educational services and the two most popular industries for employment ; production and management support are the two most common 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 5260 housing units, the majority are single family, detached homes. There are 1897 renter-occupied units.

 

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 o the two 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.

 

A 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. The group has for several years been inactive despite several attempts to revive it.  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 Rhode Island 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, and provides access to several databases. There are also on-site computers available for public use providing patrons with Internet access. In 2006, wireless access was added. Downloadable books have become very popular.

 

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.

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, musical programs and informational programs.

 

 

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. Recently the full time children’s librarian became a part time employee. This allowed the library to hire a degreed children’s librarian.

With planning and increased funding, the hours of the reference librarian were gradually increased so that now all three professional positions have a degreed librarian.

 

In 2020, 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.

 

STATEMENT OF COMMUNITY NEEDS

 

Recognizing that the George Hail Free Library should continue to expand and update its resources, services, funding and staffing: the following goals and objectives developed.

 

GOALS, OBJECTIVES, AND ACTIONS:  2020-2025

 

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. Increase Services and Hours of Operation

 

Objective 2.1: Increase both adult and kids/teens programming

            Action: Develop virtual programs for adults and children

           

Objective 2.2 Increase outreach to the community

                        Action:  Develop service for the homebound

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

 

            Objective 2.3: Fund extra hours or reallocate existing hours

                        Action: Investigate alternate scheduling

                        Action: Determine best hours of operation

                       

Goal 3. Provide sufficient staffing

           

            Objective 3.1 Maximize staff hours

           

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

                        Action:  Increase number of staff

 

           

Goal 4: Reinvigorate the Friends of the George Hail Library group

 

            Objective 4.1 Recruit a leader to Chair the group

                       

           Objective 4,2: Support and promote the George Hail Free Library

        

                     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

 

 

 

Goal5:  Maintain and expand technology resources

 

Objective 5.1: Keep technology current

Action: Develop an equipment and software log, allowing the library to be 

proactive in planning for necessary replacement or upgrading. 

Action: Develop a line item in the budget to purchase and replace equipment as needed.

 

Objective5.2: Provide patrons access to an expanded selection of digital resources, particularly in light of our experience during the pandemic

Action: Continue to identify new online content for patrons to access from the library website

Action: Research and purchase new equipment and programs to allow staff to offer programs in both in-person and virtual environments

Action: Expand collection and increase funding for the purchase of mobile hotspots to provide wifi to patrons who do not have internet access
Action: Encourage staff to develop proficiency with eBook technology by offering

training to help patrons use the Ocean State Libraries eZone site

 

 

Goal 6:  Raise awareness of the George Hail Library and the Charles Whipple Green Museum

 

Objective 6.1:  Raise awareness of the George Hail Library.

            Action:  Continue membership in the Historic Warren organization.

Action:  Provide expert assistance and local knowledge expertise to organizations (i.e. the Warren Preservation Society, Historic Warren, etc.); academic, genealogical, and other researchers; and, local patrons.

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

 

 

Objective 7.1:  Raise awareness of the Charles Whipple Green Museum.

Action:  Create a Long Range Plan specific to the Charles Whipple Green Museum.

A.      Description

The Long Range Plan will develop goals and objectives that pertain only to the Museum, although there may be some overlap with the goals and objectives outlined in the Long Range Plan for the Library.

 

B.      Contents

 

The Long Range Plan will include, but will not be limited to, the following topics:

 

o   Developing a formal volunteer docent program

o   Increasing online access

o   Establishing physical and intellectual control over the archives and artifacts

o   Instituting policies and procedures

               

 

       

PLAN FOR EVALUATION

 

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