“Committed to empowering your community.”

That’s the newly-defined tagline of the Haliburton County Public Library, approved by the library board Oct. 12 and part of the library’s new strategic plan, which has been in the works for over a year. It will guide the service throughout the next five years, determining what is offered and more.

It’s set to be launched publicly late this year, including a new mission statement and actionable steps the library service will take to achieve its goals.

“A lot of work went into this and a lot of people need to be thanked for the hard work,” said CEO Chris Stephenson.

The plan is formed through interviews with staff, stakeholders and members of the public. Dozens of pages of statistics about library use helped determine, “what aspects of the library matter to our patrons and community members, and we better understood the demographics that use and enjoy our services and programs.”

That’s translated into five strategic objectives: communicating the library’s value as a community hub and safe gathering space; building and maintaining bridges to new and existing partners and patrons; advocating for the library and connecting with the community in a strategic way; developing staff careers and working to strengthen the library internally; and establishing consistency in services across all branches and exceeding expectations.

These objectives are all linked to tangible action items.

For instance, to advocate for the library, the service will begin “pop-up” programs to answer a need for more visibility and geographic flexibility.

“I’ve been involved with lots of strategic plans in my time,” said board member David O’Brien. “This document is smooth, to the point, effective and understandable about what we’re trying to do as an organization. Well done.”

Stephenson insisted the strategy will be visible throughout the HCPL.

“It shouldn’t be consigned to a binder on a dusty shelf somewhere, it’s a living document,” he said. “It should reflect the people who read it…that’s the next step, to launch it to the public.”