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Library Mission and Plans

A banner that reads: The Library's mission is to be an essential resource for learning,engagement and innovation that provides for our communitys changing needs

Essential Libraries Initiative

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Approved by the Board of County Commissioners
June 8, 2021

The Essential Libraries Initiative is a strategic plan that re-envisions the Library to address the changing needs of residents and trends in library use.


LeRoy Collins Leon County Public Library System
Annual Plan for Library Service, FY21

Printable 2021 Annual Plan

Printable 2021 Annual Plan March Update

Approved by the Board of County Commissioners
September 15, 2020

In the second year of the FY2020-2022 Long Range Plan, the Library will focus on implementing selected strategies to improve communication and accountability; support specific needs in the community; expand programming and exhibits; and improve the user experience.


2021 Annual Plan with Status Updates

Goal 1: Reimagine the library and its roles in the community

Through participative and inclusive processes, the library’s new and continuing roles are determined, communicated and demonstrated to the community.

1.3 Annual plans are actionable and measurable activities are developed and shared with the community through a variety of communication and outreach strategies.

Action 1.3.a: Develop communication plan for annual and long-range plans as part of a Customer Experience plan.

  • Dec. 2020 Update: The Customer Experience Strategy and Plan was submitted on Nov. 15, 2020. It included a Communications Plan for the Annual Plan, outlining methods of gathering this quarterly update, disseminating it and garnering feedback.  

  • March 2021 Update: The Communication plan is being implemented. The Customer Experience Plan includes website navigation improvements. Those changes are underway. 

  • June 2021 Update: The Communication plan for the annual plan is complete. Website improvements are underway. 

Action 1.3.b: Implement communication plan for Library’s annual goals using familiar methods (web site, newsletter) and at least one new method.

  • Dec. 2020 Update: The Library’s Mission and Annual Plan webpage is in the planning stages of a revision. It will include the Annual Plan in an easier to read format, as well as the addition of these quarterly updates and a comment submission form. The updates will be disseminated through social media and by the Library Director to Library stakeholders. 

  • March 2021 Update:  The Mission and Plans page has been updated to include easier navigation. A comment link has been added to the page for easier gathering of feedback. 

  • June 2021 Update: Complete 

Action 1.3.c: Update Long Range Plan and Annual Plan for Library Service based upon feedback from the community.

  • Dec. 2020 Update: Comments will be gathered and evaluated after each update. 

  • March 2021 Update: A comment link has been added to the Mission and Plans page. A method for internal tracking of comments specific to the annual plan has been created. 

  • June 2021 Update: In process 

Indicators of Success: Completion of new Customer Experience Plan by November 15 includes an appropriate section for communicating annual goals and progress. Implement plan using at least 3 communication methods. Citizens will be able to anticipate, experience and provide feedback on implemented goals. Feedback will be reviewed by Library Management Team and Library Advisory Board to update plans.

Goal 2: Help our community learn, grow and succeed

The library supports learning, creativity, discovery and success through programs, services and collaboration.

2.2 Provide resources, activities and facilities to support literacy, life skills and workforce development, and individual success.

Action 2.2.a: Working with the Leon County Sheriff’s Office, provide public access to remote visiting kiosk for families of inmates at Leon County Jail.

  • Dec. 2020 Update: The Board of County Commissioners approved exploring options for the partnership.  Initial meetings with LCSO staff have been completed. 

  • March 2021 Update: Agenda item to proceed with the program modified to include a Family Literacy component, will be discussed at the April 13th BoCC meeting. 

  • June 2021 Update: Position was renamed Community Resources Specialist and approved at the May 25 budget workshop.  Position will be advertised in July 2021.

Action 2.2.b: In conjunction with the jail visit program, develop a read aloud program to facilitate reading skills practice, enhance literacy and strengthen bonds between children and inmate parents.

  • Dec. 2020 Update: In Progress. Research into other libraries’ similar programs has been completed. 

  • March 2021 Update: In Progress. 

  • June 2021 Update: Awaiting start of visitation program  

Indicators of Success: Remote visit kiosk is available at one or more County libraries by January 31, 2021. Read aloud program is established with support from a partner agency and provides books to participating children for their personal libraries. At least 25% of inmates with children visiting via the kiosk participate in the read aloud program in the first year.

Action 2.2.c: Develop health literacy programs for teens, adults and seniors.

  • Dec. 2020 Update: In Progress. A health literacy grant will be submitted in February 2021. 

  • March 2021 Update: We received a Florida Health Literacy Initiative grant in April 2021 to fund health literacy training for ESL learners. Programming will take place May 2021-April 2022. 

  • June 2021 Update: The Florida Health Literacy Initiative grant programs kicked off this quarter. The library hosted an CPR and aquatic safety class for speakers of English as a second language.  

Action 2.2.d: Design and launch training on using telehealth services.
Indicators of Success: Health literacy programs will reach at least 200 people by June 30, 2021. Telehealth training developed and launched by December 1, 2020.

  • Dec. 2020 Update: Library web page with resources created, social media and other activities in planning. 

  • March 2021 Update: The telehealth information page was launched.  

  • June 2021 Update: Completed in 2020 

Action 2.2.e: Work to expand programming for teens to include life skills training and other resources to support their academic and social success. 

  • Dec. 2020 Update: The Adulting 101 for Teens series launched in October and featured programs on Cooking and Nutrition (two sessions with a total of 30 attendees), Money Management (13 attendees), Finding Your First Job (22 attendees). The Library co-hosted First Friday Fun with 4-H featuring life skills classes on Cooking (15 attendees) and Mindfulness (14 attendees). 

  • March 2021 Update : 1/20: Adulting 101: Talk Business: The Entrepreneurship Process with CareerSource (9 attendees); 2/17: Adulting 101: Cultivating a Growth Mindset with CareerSource (2 attendees); 3/17: Adulting 101: Mindfulness (4 attendees); Bi-weekly Teen Advisory Board (TAB) meetings continued. 

  • June 2021 Update: Q3’s efforts include Adulting 101: Self Defense class for teen (7 engagements), Adulting 101: Socially Saavy Summer Workshop (3), Pay Day Adventure self-directed personal finance activity (19), Thursday Teen Hangouts (13), Teen Take & Makes maker activities (102), Teen Pop Culture Trivia (10), and Teen Eats and Games (2). Q3 teen engagement is up by 328% from last year. 

Indicators of Success: 5% increase in overall teen engagement, with 80% of teens completing a post-program assessment indicating value of the programs. 

Action 2.2.f: Libraries located in communities with high levels of food insecurity and/or illness related to poor nutrition will partner with local food banks, community garden organizers and other organizations to support healthy eating habits. 

  • Dec. 2020 Update: Prior to the start of this FY, the library partnered with UF-IFAS to host the Fall Seed Library Virtual Workshop in August (57 attendees). We also collaborated with UF/IFAS Extension Office again in August to offer a program entitled "Food Preservation: Canning, Freezing and Dehydrating" (32 attendees). In October, we hosted Adulting 101 classes, Cooking and Nutrition Parts I and II (30 attendees). Our First Friday Fun with 4-H Cooking program in November had 15 attendees. Library staff and the Office of Sustainability are partnering to develop programming and we held a planning meeting including representatives from Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, Second Harvest, UF-IFAS, Leon County Human Resources (Health and Well Being) and the Ft. Braden Community Garden in December. 

  • March 2021 Update: Planning in progress, awaiting approval at April BOCC budget workshop. 2/13: The Spring Seed Library kickoff featured programs on growing vegetables, healthy eating, reducing food waste, and cooking (58 attendees). The library distributed 500 Spring Seed Library grab and go self-directed activity bags. 

  • June 2021 Update: The Library is working with Second Harvest and has identified the Dr. B. L. Perry Jr. Branch Library and the Jane G Sauls Ft. Braden Branch Library is food distribution points utilizing a pantry model. We are working on these locations and the Eastside Branch Library as Summer Break Spot food distribution points. Two bucket gardening programs are planned for September in conjunction with the Senior Center. A “Cooking Matter in Your Community” class is planned for September in patronship with the Neighborhood Medical Center and UF-IFAS's Family Nutrition Program. A program featuring local community gardens is planned for early fall.  

Indicators of Success: Total number of engagements; positively impact the eating habits of 30 Leon County households. 

Action 2.2.g: Expand volunteering opportunities for all ages. 

  • Dec. 2020 Update: On hold due to COVID-19 restrictions. 
  • June 2021 Update: Once we entered Phase 3, all volunteer were welcome to come back to the library and new volunteer opportunities are being advertised through Volunteer Leon. 

Action 2.2.h: Establish an internship program for college/university students.

  • Dec. 2020 Update: Options are being explored.  
  • June 2021 Update: In Progress

Indicators of Success: Library establishes 20% more volunteer positions. Library’s Volunteer Liaison works with VolunteerLeon to fill positions. Working with FAMU and FSU, at least two internships are established for Spring and/or Summer 2021. 

Action 2.2.i: Establish a Library Social Worker position. 

  • Dec. 2020 Update: Planning in Progress 

  • March 2021 Update: Submitted as a budget request for FY22. 

  • June 2021 Update: Position was renamed Community Resources Specialist and approved at the May 25 budget workshop.  Position will be advertised in July 2021. 

Indicators of Success: Position description established by October 30, 2020. Position advertised and filled when hiring freeze is lifted.

2.3 Support academic success by partnering with schools, providing guided homework help at libraries, and enriching youth with STEM and STEAM activities.

Action 2.3.a: Working with Leon County Schools (LCS), explore ways the Library may help support student success.

  • Dec. 2020 Update: We held quarterly meetings with Leon County School's Instructional Technology Developer/Media Supervisor, Kathleen Malloy. Staff worked with the school to develop and promote the Viral Voices project, and to promote Homework Hub. 

  • March 2021 Update: Official launch of Homework Hub has been accomplished this quarter. 

  • June 2021 Update: In process 

Action 2.3.b: Develop a volunteer-based homework help program that meets the needs of both students and volunteer tutors, considering COVID-19.

  • Dec. 2020 Update: A virtual iteration of Homework Hub soft launched on October 5th and will be officially rolled out in 2021. 

  • March 2021 Update: Official launch of Homework Hub has been accomplished this quarter. 

  • June 2021 Update: Completed 

Indicators of Success: Library and LCS staffs meet to identify ways the Library may support students. High school and college students are recruited for a homework help tutoring program. 200 students are served by the Homework Help program.

Action 2.3.c: Pilot a kindergarten readiness series beginning summer FY 2021. 

  • Dec. 2020 Update: In Progress 

  • March 2021 Update: Planning is in progress 

  • June 2021 Update: Partnering with the Florida Center for Reading Research and Early Learning Leon, the library virtually hosted two separate Ready for School Workshops with 59 total attendees. 1,190 Ready for School Activity bags were distributed system-wide. These contained enrichment activities o help prepare preschoolers. 

Indicators of Success: Kindergarten readiness series reaches 50 or more rising Kindergarteners and their parents/caregivers prior to the start of next school year (August 2021).

Action 2.3.d: Resume hands-on STEM programming for K-8 when in-person programming can safely resume. 

  • Dec. 2020 Update: Postponed due to COVID-19 

  • March 2021 Update: In-person, hands-on programming postponed due to COVID-19.  
    3/23: NEA Big Read Robotics & Coding 101 for Kids (in partnership with STEMS4GIRLS); 1/28, 2/25, 3/15: Science Night with the National MagLab series; March's Little Read programming (NEA Big Read) featured a weekly talk by a female scientist; 2/11: Library Lecture: Changing Faces in STEM: Heartwork Grounded in Service, Science, and Scholarship with keynote speaker Dr. Adrienne Stephenson (NEA Big Read, 32 attendees) 

  • June 2021 Update: While resuming hands-on programming has only recently begun, the library offered an array of STEAM experiences for youth including Sensory STEAM Bags distributed for the Celebration of Autism and Neurodiversity (2,100) and Pride in STEM: Rainbows, Prisms & Lights Oh My! with the MagLab (11).  

Indicators of success: Library-owned mobile STEM Labs are shared between 4 or more locations on a regular schedule. STEM activity components of the Big Read, including robotic coding class by partner STEM4GIRLS, completed by May 2021.

2.4 Offer programming to foster and support creativity, self-expression and fun.

Action 2.4.a: Continue providing a wide range of programming by topic, audience and purpose.

  • Dec. 2020 Update: This quarter, we held a diverse array of programming including genealogy classes, book clubs, Science Night with MagLab, Dungeons & Dragons virtual gaming, a Halloween character parade for youth, a community gingerbread house competition, A NaNoWriMo writing workshop series, Teen Advisory Board meetings (including a Jackbox party event), a teen Phone Photography 101 workshop, storytimes, babytimes, and we closed out our 2020 Borne-themed NEA Big Read programming. 

  • March 2021 Update: We continued to provide an interesting array of experiences for patrons including: 1/6, 1/20, 1/27: Molly of Denali: Family and Community Workshop; 1/14: Digital Escape Rooms with Teen Advisory Board; 2/11: Teen Tissue Paper Art; 2/22: Untold Stories of Leon County's Black History; 2/23: Virtual African American Read-In; 3/10: Special Virtual Story Time with the Grove Museum; Eight monthly virtual book clubs; Weekly Sign & Sign Baby Time; Virtual Baby Times and Story Times; First Friday Fun with 4-H. 

  • June 2021 Update: Efforts this quarter include an Animal Towel/Napkin Folding program for adults (9); a variety of youth summer reading programming including Awesome Opossum Animal Encounter youth summer reading program (81) and Virtual Lego Club (40); a variety of book clubs; Emancipation Day self directed programs - Padlet (77) and Poetry for Freedom (477); Pride month programming - The Queens' English: A Conversation with Author Chloe O. Davis (70), Queeries in YA book discussion (2), and Show Your Pride Story Time and Craft (8), Pride in STEM: Rainbows, Prisms & Lights Oh My! with the MagLab (11), book clubs discussed LGBTQIA+ titles, and Teen Pride Bags (51).  

Action 2.4.b: Pilot a program for children with autism to encourage self-expression.

  • Dec. 2020 Update: We launched our autism programming in October with "Coping with COVID-19 While on the Spectrum" (11 attendees) and Sensory Storytimes started on Oct. 2. We hosted "Handling Holidays and Travel While on the Spectrum" on 11/5 (20 attendees). Staff received Autism Friendly Business training and the library received an Autism Friendly Business designation. 

  • March 2021 Update: Continuation of Sensory Story Times 

  • June 2021 Update: Continuation of Sensory Story Times 

Action 2.4.c: Partnering with a variety of local organizations, conduct The Big Read featuring Lab Girl by Hope Jahren in Spring 2021.

  • Dec. 2020 Update: In Progress.  

  • March 2021 Update: Nineteen NEA Big Read programs were hosted in February and March: 

  1. Fiction/Non-Fiction Book Club reading Lab Girl 

  2. History Book Club reading Code Girls 

  3. Big Read Kickoff with Dr. Adrienne Stephenson 

  4. Memoir Writing Workshop 

  5. Mystery Book Club reading Science & Nature Mysteries 

  6. Tree Planting and Care with Mark Tancig 

  7. Bucket List Book Club reading Lab Girl 

  8. Memoir Feedback Workshop 

  9. Little Read: Celebrating Women Scientists (four programs) 

  10. Leon County Panel for Mental Health 

  11. Sprout House Workshop 

  12. Teen Zine Memoir Workshop 

  13. Pop-Up Book Club reading Lab Girl 

  14. She Blinded Me with Science Trivia Night 

  15. Virtual Nature Walk 

  16. Robotics & Coding 101 for Kids 

  • June 2021 Update: Programming completed 

Indicators of Success: Programs attract targeted audiences and attendance increases 10% over previous year. Autism-appropriate programming launched in October 2020 and evaluated by participating parents and caregivers. Participation in The Big Read increases 5% over the 2020 Big Read.

Action 2.4.d: Develop a robust exhibition schedule at library locations.

  • Dec. 2020 Update: Delayed due to COVID-19 

  • March 2021 Update: Delayed due to COVID-19. 

  • June 2021 Update: In process 

  Action 2.4.e: Update policy and procedures regarding library exhibitions to engage more artists and community members. 

  • Dec. 2020 Update: In Process 

  • March 2021 Update: Policy drafted.  

  • June 2021 Update: Policy and accompanying documents completed and approved at the June 8th Board of County Commissioners meeting.  

Indicators of Success: Exhibition policy and procedures updated by January 2021. Quantity and variety of exhibitors increases.

Goal 3: Improve the user experience

Create ways to make it more convenient and enjoyable to interact with the library.

3.2 Explore new methods of service delivery.

Action 3.2.a: Implement Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology

  • Dec. 2020 Update: The tagging portion of the RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) project began after the arrival of the mobile carts for tagging and programming did on October 14, 2020. As of Dec. 22, 2020, are just over two weeks of initial tagging left to be done, with the whole tagging project due to end around Wed., January 6, 2021, ten days before the end of the leasing period of the three mobile carts.  
    It Is anticipated that all self-checks and gates will be installed and operational by the end of March, thus clearing the way for faster, contactless service, reduced staffing costs, and a greater accountability for library materials. 

  • March 2021 Update: As of 6 January 2021, the system-wide tagging project was completed, with over a quarter million items tagged and programmed. The rented mobile tagging carts were returned on 15 January 2021, almost 2 weeks ahead of the targeted project completion date. Beginning on 22 January 2021, new gates and other equipment were delivered and old gates un-installed. 
    The library system received 13 new self-check machines and 11 new gates capable of detecting the RFID tags. To date, five training sessions were conducted by the vendor (Bibliotheca) for library staff on a variety of RFID topics, such as how to take inventory with the new RFID system and how to get the door count each month. 

In addition, installation of the new self-checks required physical reconfiguration and downsizing of many of the service desks. 

  • June 2021 Update: The last quarter was effectively a wrapping of various aspects of the RFID project.  April 12-19 saw the verification of RFID tagging of some of the lesser collections.  April 27-28 was the receipt and distribution of the Comprise kits for self-serve payment with credit cards; shortly afterwards, they were programmed and installed at all branches. 

    May 12-14 the final invoice was received and reconciled. On June 3, the last two gates were scheduled for installation, working around the receipt of HVAC equipment through the front doors. However, due to reimagining on the part of Facilities, the final 1st floor gates were installed earlier, on June 10. This paved the way for us to sign off on the receipt of the final equipment and scheduling by SHI, sent to them on June 22, and acknowledged receipt the next day. As of June 23, 2021, Action 3.2a (implementation of RFID technology) is completed. 

Action 3.2.b: Empower library users with fast, contact-free self-checkout kiosks and self-service holds pick-up areas.

  • Dec. 2020 Update: Planning in progress 

  • March 2021 Update: Self-service hold pick-up areas have been established in all locations and self-check kiosks are now in use. The next step is to set up the self-check kiosks to accept cash and credit card payments. This work is in progress. 

  • June 2021 Update: Credit cards are configured and working correctly. Cash has been tested, but the library is still minimizing cash handling due to COVID, so this is not yet fully implemented. 

Action 3.2.c: Reassign staff to public-facing positions and outreach opportunities as workloads shift with new technology.

  • Dec. 2020 Update: Completed 

Indicators of Success: All collections converted to RFID and new system is operational by December 31, 2020. Positive feedback from patrons via comment cards, web forms, etc.


LeRoy Collins Leon County Public Library System Long-Range Plan for Library Service, FY 2020-2022

Printable 2020-2022 Long Range Plan

Posted September 18, 2019


Our public library system is a free and open community resource for personal enrichment, recreation, and lifelong learning. Library staffs strive to effectively serve users by anticipating needs and interests of citizens; by providing friendly, professional customer service; and by providing quality services, programs, resources, and library materials. In offering access to all, the library provides opportunity to all.
To meet the needs of residents, services and materials are provided at a main library, six branch libraries, and via outreach services to selected senior residential communities, as well as online. Through the library's web site, users can locate and download e-books, audiobooks and videos; renew and request library materials; ask for information or research assistance via e-mail or the "Ask a Librarian" live chat service; and use online subscription databases. Children's programs support literacy development, creativity and socialization, while programs for adults provide a myriad of lifelong learning opportunities.
Leon County's libraries continue to provide new and innovative services and programs including the Seed Library, the Library Lecture Series, lending programs for mobile hotspots and telescopes, virtual reality gaming systems, as well as thousands of downloadable e-books, audio books, and movies. However, in Leon County and communities across the nation, circulation of fixed format materials is declining while downloads of digital content and interest in interactive library programming is on the rise.
Over the last three years in Leon County, downloads of digital content has increased by 81% and attendance at Library programs has increased by almost 20%. Patrons are also seeking more meeting and quiet spaces. Study rooms are increasingly needed for individual study, online test taking and tutorials, job interviews via webcams, and tutoring. Additionally, there is growing demand to use the Library's meeting rooms as gathering spaces for events and programs. In 2018 alone, the library system's 10 meetings rooms were reserved for over 3,300 meetings hosted by a diverse group of community organizations. This is a 62% increase in reservations since 2016.
These trends make it necessary to reassess how the physical space within our libraries is being utilized, and to prepare for the future roles our libraries will play in residents' lives.
In Spring 2019, Leon County Government convened a focus group of stakeholders and community leaders to identify library best practices and innovations in other communities. The focus group conducted on-site visits to five communities with nationally-recognized library systems, to explore how they have identified, strategized, and implemented unique ways to maintain and increase the relevancy of libraries in the community. Focus group members included Leon County staff, representatives from the Knight Creative Communities Institute, as well as representatives from the Friends of the Library, whose mission is to help support the library to improve and expand services.
Themes emerging from the tours included a broader use of technology for all age groups, for both fun and education, reprioritizing collections and services, working smarter to improve efficient use of limited resources; purposeful community engagement; focus on facilities, including meeting rooms, creative spaces and workplaces for the public; student success in school and enhanced literacy programs; workforce development programs; professional development and redefined roles for staff to facilitate more engagement with patrons and the community at-large; and a variety of diverse programming to support the interests and needs of the community. These and some of the readily adaptable ideas inspired by the tours are reflected in this plan's goals and strategies.
The final report and recommendations from the focus group will be presented to the Board of County Commissioners for further consideration. In considering ideas and information gathered from the libraries visited on the tours, and subsequent meetings to get community input, strategies in this plan may be modified. Annual plans with established measures of success will be developed for each of the years encompassed by this document.


Public libraries must make a difference in the lives of the people who use them and a difference in the community as a whole. Through pursuit of our vision and mission, the LeRoy Collins Leon County Public Library System will play a vital role in the continued growth and success of our community.


Our community discovers the joy of reading, the energy of ideas and the power of information together in the Library.


The LeRoy Collins Leon County Public Library System enriches the community by inspiring a love of reading, providing a dynamic resource for creative and intellectual pursuits, and enabling residents to live a life of learning.

Goal 1: Reimagine the library and its roles in the community

Through participative and inclusive processes, the library's new and continuing roles are determined, communicated and demonstrated to the community.

1.1 Recommendations from the final libraries tour report and existing data which identifies community needs provide a framework for priorities and initiatives.
1.2 Listening Sessions gather stakeholder input, expanding insights and direction.
1.3 Annual Plans with actionable and measurable activities are developed and shared with the community through a variety of communication and outreach strategies.

Goal 2: Help our community learn, grow and succeed

The library supports learning, creativity, discovery and success through programs, services and partnerships.
2.1 Through community outreach and partnerships, identify and respond to interests and needs of Leon County citizens.
2.2 Provide resources, activities and facilities to support literacy, life skills and workforce development, and individual success.
2.3 Support academic success by partnering with schools, providing guided homework help at libraries, and enriching youth with STEM and STEAM activities.
2.4 Offer programming to foster and support creativity, self-expression and fun.

Goal 3: Improve the user experience

Create ways to make it more convenient and enjoyable to interact with the library.

3.1 Offer online library card registration.
3.2 Explore new methods of service delivery.
3.3 Replace the outdated "Patron Rights and Responsibilities" policy with a simplified "Code of Conduct".


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