Philosophy – 108
Approved by the Board of Trustees June 28, 2016 Updated Mission/Vision/Values April 23, 2019

St. Joseph Public Library
Long Range Plan

2015 – 2020


The St. Joseph Public Library will enrich our community by providing diverse resources and services to support and fulfill the life-long informational and recreational needs of our patrons.


The St. Joseph Public Library’s vision is to foster a united, engaged, and informed community where all generations connect, discover, and create.


The St. Joseph Public Library values:

ACCOUNTABILITY. We are dedicated to delivering on our commitments and for the stewardship of our taxpayer dollars.

EXCELLENCE. We are courteous professionals who strive to create extraordinary experiences for our community.

EQUALITY. We are free and open to all people and ideas.  We treat everyone with respect and compassion.

INNOVATION. We are always learning.  We are constantly exploring new ways of doing things better and doing better things.

PASSION. We love the library, and we love St. Joseph, and we love what we do.

TEAMWORK. We build connections and celebrate the diversity of our experiences.


The St. Joseph Public Library preserves yesterday, informs today and inspires tomorrow.

SJPL strives to remain relevant and important in today’s society.  This becomes more necessary, but more difficult with each new technology.  In 2012, a long range service plan was created and many of its goals have been met, and continue to be met.  This update is to revisit some of the goals that are as yet not fulfilled, but also to incorporate the valuable data we acquired with OrangeBoy through a patron survey conducted in 2014.

Everything we do at the library, whether adding services, planning programming, or selecting materials is done with the intention of creating library champions in our community.  We want our patrons to feel like they are important to our success, because they are.  They are the reason we are here at all.  Planning for our future is completely wrapped around what our patrons will need.

Commitment to our Patrons

  • We will welcome you
  • We will provide you with a friendly environment
  • We will help you find what you need
  • We will behave ethically


  1. Expand and enhance library services and the patron experience.

Patrons will have timely and easy access to library services that provide positive experiences and an excellent value.

  1. Increase awareness of the library’s value.

St. Joseph citizens will gain a better understanding of SJPL’s value, relevance and stewardship.

  1. Promote a love of reading in young children.

Families will benefit from programs and services designed to support children’s ability to enter school ready to learn, read, write and listen.

  1. Promote knowledge of our community and personal heritage.

People of all ages will have access to programs and services that can help them learn about our community, services offered and their own family histories.

  1. Encourage reading, viewing and listening for pleasure.

Patrons will have access to programs, services and materials that entertain and stimulate the imagination.

  1. Provide comfortable physical and virtual spaces.

Library visitors will enjoy welcoming, comfortable and easily accessible facilities and complementary virtual spaces and services that expand access to information and online services.

  1. Provide connections to the online world.

Everyone in St. Joseph will have the opportunity to access and connect to the online world through library technology.

Goals and Objectives

SJPL has two types of goals, Strategic and Service.  Our strategic goals focus on enhancing the library’s services and increasing awareness of the library and its resources.  Our service goals address the priorities of our patrons and how we can best serve their needs.

Strategic Goals and Objectives

  1. Expand and enhance library services and the patron experience.
    • Merchandise popular adult materials near children’s areas – June 2016.
    • Post tutorials on popular software such as Excel, Word, Windows 10, the library catalog, Missouri Libraries 2 Go, etc. on the library’s website – March 2017.
    • Branches will schedule staff to walk the library, offering assistance to patrons on an hourly basis – March 2017.
    • All public service staff members will receive annual training on customer service and readers advisory – June 2017.
    • Install software for self checkout at Downtown and East Hills – June 2017.
    • Make the Children’s area at each branch a destination area – June 2018.
    • All branches will have weeded and inventoried all sections – June 2019.
  1. Increase awareness of the library’s value.
    • Add ability for patrons to make public suggestions and comments on the library’s website, along with displayed responses – December 2016.
    • Advertise library programs with bookmarks in new books and books on hold – December 2016.
    • Develop targeted marketing campaigns, i.e. email blast storytime families or patrons who checkout seeds from Seed Library about gardening programs – June 2017.
    • Know how to match the patron database to voter database and determine cost of mailings – June 2018.

Service Goals and Objectives

  1. Promote a love of reading in young children.
    • Create and maintain strategic partnerships with local schools and community organizations related to literacy – August 2016.
    • Reassess storytime scheduling to meet parents’ needs – June 2017.
    • All branches will establish reward-based reading clubs/recognition for beginning readers – September 2017.
    • Offer early literacy events in each branch annually – June 2018.
  1. Promote knowledge of our community.
    • Create and maintain strategic partnerships with community organizations – July 2016.
    • Provide links to other community organization’s newsletters on our website – December 2016.
    • Offer programming such as recycling event, paper shredding event, blood drive, City Talk – August 2017.
  1. Promote knowledge of citizens’ personal heritage.
    • Continue digitization projects of local history information – July 2020.
    • Continue obituary indexing project – July 2020.
    • The Reference Department will offer programs, at least annually, promoting the local history and genealogy collection – June 2017.
  1. Encourage reading, viewing and listening for pleasure.
    • Display books with DVDs on the same topic – July 2016.
    • Highlight related library materials and resources at adult programs – July 2017.
    • Promote library programs, services and materials such as DVDs on tabletop posters – July 2017.
    • Complete the revision of the Collection Development Policy – July 2018.
  1. Provide comfortable physical and virtual spaces.
    • Produce a database guide of library databases that includes how to access them – September 2016.
    • Space devoted to programming will be established at the Downtown Library by May 2017.
    • Provide self-directed training for patrons on the library catalog, e-content and databases; first two how-to tutorials developed by March 2017.
    • Create areas exclusively for teens in each branch – June 2019.
  1. Provide connections to the online world.
    • Redesign the website and make it mobile responsive – December 2016.
    • Increase patron awareness of accessible outlets for using and charging electronic devices – December 2016.
    • Create a Social Media policy – July 2017.
    • Establish a timeline and budget plan to replace aging hardware and software – July 2018

Ongoing Activities:

  • The library branches will keep up with series books.
  • Display books with DVDs on the same topic.
  • Keep the library branches looking nice and inviting.
  • Increase the digital collection.
  • Offer programs that assist patrons with the library catalog, databases and electronic content.