A strategic roadmap informed by mission, vision, and values in Denver
Libraries are among the most important public institutions in our communities–they are valuable spaces in which every person, regardless of socioeconomic status, can engage in knowledge sharing, personal and professional development, and community activities. In Denver, officials at the Denver Public Library (DPL) understand how important their organization is to the community they serve, and they take that responsibility very seriously.
“People trust the library as a resource to help them solve problems, find information, and become more information literate,” says Kirsten Decker, Manager of Strategy and Evaluation at the DPL.
Kirsten and her team are an extremely smart group of individuals (of course they are, they work at the library!), and they are spearheading a strategy execution and performance management program that will no doubt act as a template for other public libraries looking to better execute on their mission to serve.
The DPL is over 130 years old, and has 27 locations across the City of Denver. These locations house nearly 700 employees, including the part-time and on-call staff. These efforts, which include working diligently to provide a more welcoming, equitable, and accessible space for residents, have also grown to include a new task–telling the story of the library and its work.
“Libraries are really, really good at helping other people tell their story, whether it’s through our reference services or through our writers’ workshops or all the different things that we do for the community,” says Kirsten. “But we’re not great at telling our own story. Libraries often fall into the under-resourced, but highly utilized part of our city budgets. We’ve grown our operational capacity, we’ve been asking questions like: how can you capitalize on what you have, how can you demonstrate your value, and how can you continue to grow in the ways that your community needs you to?”
With a little help from Envisio, Kirsten and her team have built an impressive roadmap to respond to those very questions.