EXPANDING AUSTIN LITERACY
4 new library branches could be in the books after Austin City Council adopts new plan
This is a dream come true for Austin bookworms. The Austin Public Library system could be seeing a huge expansion with the recent adoption of a plan by Austin City Council.
The Austin Public Library Comprehensive Library Strategic and Facilities Plan creates new goals for the library system that includes expanding current branches and constructing new ones. With the ever-growing population in the city, the “library square foot per capita” has fallen behind neighboring cities. The facilities plan addresses this growth disparity by proposing four new library branches in addition to expanding, replacing, or relocating over half of the pre-existing branches.
Austin Public Library Director Roosevelt Weeks said in a press release that this new plan will allow the library system to continue providing necessary creative and learning resources to all community members.
“Five and a half years ago, Austin opened a new world-class Central Library in downtown, and that building remains the crown jewel of the city,” he said. “However, our neighborhoods deserve world-class library facilities too. The plan adopted by the City Council today lays out a vision for growing and updating our entire library system to meet the needs of the rapidly changing, dynamic city we serve.”
The Strategic and Facilities Plan was a year in the making, thanks to plenty of community outreach tactics. Successful methods included a survey that received over 5,400 responses, several pop-up events throughout Austin, and “listening sessions” with library staff and stakeholders.
The plan also introduces new mission and vision statements for the library, as well as five community-based strategic goals. The new library mission statement is: “Inspiring all to discover, learn, and create” and the new vision is to be “a model of equity, inclusion, access, and diversity.”
The five strategic goals include:
- Provide community-centric programs and services
- Design and develop spaces for community connections
- Foster stakeholder relationships
- Expand library access
- Engage staff
“On behalf of everyone at the Austin Public Library, I am excited that the Council has adopted this vision for the future of our community’s libraries,” said Weeks.
More information about the Strategic and Facilities Plan can be found on the Austin Public Library’s website.