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Pembroke Public Library unveils five-year strategic plan

By Celina Ip

Pembroke Public Library CEO Karthi Rajamani (left) with library board chairman Keith Watt (right).

Pembroke Public Library CEO Karthi Rajamani (left) with library board chairman Keith Watt (right).

The Pembroke Public Library is ready to dive into their five-year strategic plan.


The plan – which will span from 2017 to 2021 – was developed by gathering data through an online survey, focus groups and suggestions from library staff, volunteers, city officials and various community members.

After carefully analyzing the data and reflecting on the library's past successes and challenges, the Pembroke Library Board finalized the five-year vision for their organization's future.

“We completed a survey as to the needs of the library to help guide us in the future and we had a great response. In the end we had 721 responses to the survey that gives us great confidence in the information that we've yielded in order to put together a strategic plan,” said Keith Watt, board chairman.

The vision will serve as a road map to guide the library in the direction of this positive growth in order to provide the best services and programs to its members from Pembroke and Laurentian Valley.

On April 20, Pembroke Library chief executive officer (CEO) Karthi Rajamani and Watt publicly discussed the plan which includes a newly developed vision, mission and values.

The vision focuses on the library's goal of ‘shaping the future by honouring the past and empowering an educated, healthy and enlightened community’.

The mission states that ‘Pembroke Public Library serves as a cultural focal point and community hub by empowering lifelong learning, inspiring education and enriching recreation for all members of the community’.

Over the next five years, the library will be focusing on the values of inspiration, innovation, collaboration and service.

According to Rajamani, the three areas were reconstructed and modelled along the lines of the visions within Pembroke and Laurentian Valley’s own strategic plans.

“Before we picked all of these strategies and goals, we carefully looked at Laurentian Valley and the City of Pembroke’s strategic plans, so all of our strategies and goals are aligned with theirs,” said Rajamani. “The city's vision is to create an enlightened community that is happy, healthy and economically well-established. Laurentian Valley’s plan is very similar as they want to build a progressive community that suits the needs of the people living in the municipality. So we took that and dissected it to see how we could create enlightened and progressive communities– and for that we need literacy and recreation.”

In order to provide the community with the best literacy and recreation programs and services, the library’s strategic plan is broken into three key areas of improvements and changes that the library will be implementing over the next five years.

The three areas are ‘connect, ‘advance’, and ‘create’.

Under ‘connect’, plans are to establish new fundraising initiatives with Friends of the Library Group, explore resource sharing opportunities with Algonquin College and local schools, support community organizations with new partnerships, provide a welcoming community hub and further connect the community with the library’s services.

Under ‘advance’, plans are to analyze data and improve the library’s collection to meet community needs, implement advanced methods to achieve higher standards, adopt new technology to meet changing needs, achieve provincial accreditation and digitize local history to preserve our culture.

Under ‘create’, plans are to create early literacy awareness and partnerships, promote STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) through library programs, explore opportunities to develop young readers, initiate teen advisory groups and build the library’s presence in the community.

Above all, Rajamani said the five-year initiatives will help to improve the library’s appearance as a warm and welcoming space where anyone is invite to learn, develop literacy skills, participate in educational programs and engage with the community.

“We want people to think of the library not as an old book depository but as a warm and welcoming space where all are invited,” said Rajamani.


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