The Bloomfield Library Board of Trustees approved a three-year strategic plan last night, which will lay the foundation for the BPL’s future programming. The strategic plan was based on suggestions from members of the public who filled out brief online surveys, attended an open house event held in November, a stakeholders meeting, and meetings with the Mayor, Council, and representatives from the school board in the Fall.
“The Strategic Plan document affirms that the library is a welcoming community gathering place and a cornerstone of family, cultural, and civic life, representing, through its collections, the diversity of the community, and bases decisions on patron needs and preferences,” said Mayor Michael Venezia. “In recent years, the BPL has expanded its programs to create more educational and recreational opportunities for people of all ages, and the adopted plan stresses the importance of continuing to move in that direction under the leadership of Director Holly Belli.”
“From 2016-2018, the library saw tremendous growth in registrations, circulation of materials, and program participation. In 2018, program attendance went way up, especially in the children’s library. Over the next three years, we will improve outreach to multi-cultural and diverse populations in town, increase programming for seniors, expand the library’s electronic resources, including e-books, and make the library’s website more accessible so we can be a 24/7 resource center for Bloomfield residents,” said Library Director Holly Belli. “This strategic plan is a living document that will help us achieve these goals, and I would like to thank The Library Board of Trustees, the Strategic Planning Committee, and the Bloomfield Library Staff for making this a reality.”
The Strategic Plan asserts the library’s goals are to: form closer relationships with schools to support students and teachers; cooperate and collaborate with the Historical Society to provide lectures, book talks, and other programs; and co-sponsor events with municipal departments. It emphasizes the importance of expanding its multi-media catalog and special programs.
“The Library Board of Trustees did a great job reaching out to patrons to address the needs of the community, and now we have a great roadmap for the next three years. Working with the Literacy Volunteers of America to expand our ESL programs, incorporating programs for senior citizens, and taking more social initiatives to help foreign-born residents obtain their U.S. citizenship or drivers licenses matches our town’s philosophy of social entrepreneurship,” said Councilwoman Jenny Mundell, Liaison to the Board of Trustees of the Bloomfield Public Library. “I would also like to thank the Board of Trustees, under Board President Tabitha Rice for their stewardship.”
To supplement financial aid the BPL receives from the Township of Bloomfield and assist in meeting some of these initiatives, a group of residents founded the Bloomfield Public Library Foundation last January. The foundation is currently awaiting IRS approval for 501c3 status.
“The foundation raises funding for projects like capital improvements and additional services. Donors can specify what areas they want their gifts to benefit most, for example the children’s library or improvements to the theater,” said Mollie Smith, President and co-founder of the Foundation. “The funding raised through the foundation invests in the future of the library and assists in its mission to provide access to materials and services to all residents of the Township of Bloomfield.”
The Foundation has received a handful of donations to support the library in recent months. Anyone interested in contributing to the Foundation can contact Smith directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. To read the Strategic Plan online, visit https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/f08d11_529d5eab596c48a3afe4cad9455636fb.pdf.