Long Range Plan

1. Introduction
2. Long Range Planning at Finkelstein Memorial Library
3. Community Vision Statements
4. Library Vision Statements
5. Mission Statement
6. Service Responses, Goals and Objectives

1. Basic Literacy and Life Skills
2. Current Titles and Topics
3. A Commons Environment
4. General Information
5. Information Literacy

1. Introduction

Founded in 1917 by a family of Jewish immigrants who wanted to share the blessings of democracy with their neighbors through the free exchange of information, Finkelstein Memorial Library has a long and proud history of supporting unfettered intellectual freedom and a continued commitment to lifelong learning and educational support. Now, nearly a century later, Finkelstein Memorial Library – its trustees, its staff, its Friends and supporters – understand that today’s information needs cannot merely be satisfied through a collection of books alone. All manner of informational formats – including electronic databases, audio-visual materials, and educational and cultural programming designed to inspire and inform – must be taken into consideration as we develop a realistic plan for the next five years.

The 2006 – 2010 Plan of Service presented here serves as a map for the future of Finkelstein Memorial Library. The purpose of this plan is to provide direction and establish priorities to meet the diverse needs of our community, the 100,000 people of the East Ramapo Central School District.

Recognizing that demand for services and materials will always exceed the availability of funding, this plan serves as a guide to future development of Finkelstein Memorial Library and helps establish priorities for the allocation of resources, development of new and/or retention/elimination of existing services, and expansion or reduction of individual collections. The plan will be reviewed and evaluated continually, and updated every five years to incorporate newly emerging issues and reflect ongoing change in the community we serve.

This plan focuses on library services centered in our existing 50,000 square foot facility. However, as we envision an increasingly different service community than the one from even five years ago, we understand that we must keep one eye on the future even as we strive to provide cutting edge library service for today. Therefore, while this plan features an array of service objectives that address the technological needs of users of our current building, we must also consider options that reach beyond the walls of 24 Chestnut Street. Twenty-four hour book pick-up, off-site service kiosks, mobile library services and bookmobiles, and perhaps even new branch libraries all merit consideration and discussion in this plan. Outreach efforts of all sorts must be considered if we are to remain a vital resource in a community as unique as ours.

The plan will guide the development of both short-term and long-term actions for the continued delivery of quality library service. Library staff will participate in the implementation of the strategies and actions contained herein. Measurable objectives from the plan will be key components of ongoing staff evaluation, assessing their success in supporting the goals and objectives of this plan. Components of this plan will also form a critical portion of the development and administration of the library’s budget over the life of this process.


2. Long Range Planning at Finkelstein Memorial Library

The Library Advisory Council was established in 1988 to conduct long-range planning according to the following mission:
- To engage in strategic long-range planning to meet the Library’s changing need in staffing, technology and resources for the purpose of maintaining the highest quality library service to the residents of the East Ramapo Central School District;

- To formulate and recommend to the Board of Trustees a plan of action through specific goals and objectives; and

- To constantly re-evaluate current methods, goals, policies, practices, and long-range plans so that change may be managed proactively.

- The Council is comprised of thirteen members – the Director, Department Heads, and representatives of the librarian, clerical, and page staffs.

- The approach to planning generally follows that recommended in the Public Library Association’s planning model, the latest of which is entitled The New Planning for Results: a Streamlined Approach (ALA, 2001). The book’s intent is to simplify and streamline the processes recommended in Planning for Results (ALA 1998) and is built on the following assumptions:

- Excellence must be defined locally – it results when library services match community needs, interests, and priorities. The extraordinary diversity in a community must be considered and not simply addressed as a “one-size fits all” approach.

- Excellence is possible for both small and large libraries – it rests more on commitment than on unlimited resources. The commitment has to be based on clearly defined goals that address community needs.

- Excellence is a moving target – even when achieved, excellence must be continually maintained. An environment has to be established and maintained that will continually monitor results and accept change as an integral part of the Library’s culture.

1. Basic Literacy and Life Skills - addresses the need to read, write and perform other essential life skills.

2. Current Titles and Topics – to fulfill the community’s need for information about popular cultural, social and political trends as well as recreational experiences.

3. A Commons Environment - to address the need of people to meet and interact in a safe and welcoming venue with others in their community and to participate in public discussion about community issues.

4. General Information – to meet the need for information and answers to questions on a broad array of topics related to work, school, and personal life.

5. Information Literacy – addresses the need for skills related to finding, evaluating, and using information effectively.

Because there can be much change over a five-year span, particularly in technology and community demographics, a review of the long range plan will be conducted midway in 2008.


3. Community Vision Statements

The Community Vision statements listed below are based on surveys conducted by the Library and the East Ramapo Central School District.
The statements indicate the needs of the community:

The children of our community will be provided with a safe, enriching environment that will insure equitable and diverse cultural, educational, and recreational opportunities enabling them to achieve to their maximum potential, and become productive, prosperous citizens.

The parents of our community will have available to them a variety of support systems that will provide family-oriented activities, quality education, and advocacy for children as students, and a caring and secure environment in which to live.

English-as-a-Second-Language programs will be expanded to assist children and adults in their educational pursuit.
The diverse people of our community will have opportunities that will encourage them to participate in the social, cultural, and educational life of the broader community, encouraged and assisted by support services and appropriate housing, so that they may prosper and succeed.

Partnerships will be created and/or expanded among schools, civic and social organizations, community groups, churches and synagogues, social service agencies, and businesses.

The seniors of our community will have available to them social, cultural and recreational services and programs to enable them to continue to live healthy, happy and useful lives.


4. Library Vision Statements

The Library strives to achieve the results that meet the needs of the
community through the following vision statements:

The children of the community will have the opportunity to develop the skills they need to help close any “achievement gap” by the library’s offering of supplemental educational programs.

The parents of the community will continue to discover that the library shares Its commitment with the home, school, and community in a combined effort to educate each child fully - mentally, socially, and emotionally by providing a safe, welcoming environment, conducive to learning, relaxing, and enhancing intellectual growth.

The diverse people of the community will be provided access to a variety of support systems / services, partnerships and activities. The library will provide educational, informational, cultural, and recreational activities that reflect the community’s diversity and uniqueness, as well as, its changing needs and interests.
The people of the community will also have equal access to technology and training to help close any “digital-divide” and provide the necessary tools for self-improvement, empowerment and participation in the global economy.


5. Mission Statement

The mission of the Finkelstein Memorial Library is to provide the highest quality service to people of all racial/ethnic groups, ages, circumstances and interests by selecting, organizing, preserving and making widely accessible the records of human experience, knowledge, ideas, culture and entertainment.

In order to accomplish its mission, the Library will provide the following service responses as a guide that will set a well-designed and deliberate course of action in achieving specific goals and objectives for the next five years.


6. Mission Statement

Goal: Basic literacy and life skills will be promoted through access to appropriate materials, environment and services.

1. A Life Skills Learning Center will be created on the third floor which will include the world language book and audio instructional collections, ESOL and new reader materials, and job information and test-taking support.

2. The world language book collection will be expanded by 25% over the next five years.

3. Provide preschoolers and parents with an opportunity to foster a lifelong love of learning and reading.

4. Increased access to trained volunteer tutors and instructional technologies to augment tutoring effectiveness will be provided.

5. Options to provide additional tutoring space and a wide range of materials will be explored.

6. Opportunities for ESOL tutoring and citizenship classes resulting from the merger of the Rockland and Westchester Literacy Volunteers will be pursued. Application will be made for a grant running from January-April 2007 that will assist Spanish speakers to prepare for citizenship tests. ESOL conversation groups will be encouraged to meet at the Library.

7. The career and test practice collections (in both print and electronic formats) will be strengthened in support of the commitment to life skills.
A current collection will be provided with sufficient copies of titles in high demand to ensure patron requests are met quickly.

Materials will be provided in varied formats and in the languages people want and will be selected based primarily on local demand.


1. A large collection of print and non-print materials will be supported to satisfy interest in current reading, viewing and listening.

2. E-book/e-audio book collections, computer games, and other new formats will be introduced.

3. The number of CD audio books ordered will be increased by 50% and books-on-tape purchasing will be reduced correspondingly by 50%.

4. The videocassette movie collection will be reduced by 50% by 2007. At that time, intershelving of DVDs and videocassettes will be initiated

5. More space for patron browsing will be created in the DVD / CD area. A section in the alcove near the first floor Meeting Room will be created for special interest (nonfiction ) DVDs and videocassettes.

6. Increased emphasis will be placed on the ethnic and cultural diversity of the CD music, DVD and other audiovisual collections in the following areas:
Spanish (Latin, Caribbean, South American), French (Creole), Jewish (Yiddish, Israeli), and eastern European. A new World Beat category will be added and music categories will be reviewed every two years.

7. More document delivery options will be introduced including: the faxing of responses to reference questions, provision of a public fax service, color copying, scanning. Central printing stations will be investigated for better cost recovery.

8. The second floor layout will be reconfigured to provide more comfortable seating combined with popular bookstore style displays.

9. More space will be provided in the second floor large print book area with special attention to the physical needs of older patrons. Bench seating will be provided where feasible.

10. The Children’s Department will expand the world language materials in the Children’s collection and relocate the special collections for greater accessibility.

11. Provide preschoolers and parents with an opportunity to foster a lifelong love of learning and reading.

Provide public meeting rooms and spaces for gathering that are recognized as inviting, neutral and safe by all individuals and groups in the

Provide a more welcoming and secure atmosphere for both children and parents.

Increase the Library’s marketing coverage and publicity and introduce materials and services to attract new users.

Expand the concept of commons to include new outreach services, a community wireless network, and the Library website.

1. Space will be provided for school activities, parenting workshops and specialized groups.

2. The physical size of the Children’s Department will be expanded and will include a separate meeting room for children’s programs; additional computers will be provided for public and staff use,

3. A more welcoming atmosphere will be created for children and parents by changing the layout of the current Children’s Room, adding more tables and chairs and providing more programming.

4. The latest computer/internet technology and information will be provided for children and their parents through instructional classes. Individualized work areas with reference computers will be created for tutoring, as well as homework areas, and study rooms.

5. The Library will continue to search out partnerships with community groups.

6. The layout of the second floor will be reconfigured to combine a comfortable seating area combined with popular bookstore style browsing displays.

7. A Service Desk will be established on the third floor to provide assistance to patrons in using Life Skills materials, periodicals, and other services.

8. A wireless network and wired laptop workstations for individualized use will be established on all floors.

9. The latest audiovisual equipment and technology will be provided in support of library and community programs including a digital projector, DVD player, large screen TV and an assistive listening system for the hearing-impaired.

10. Additional security personnel will be provided so that there is coverage during all hours the Library is open.

11. Video surveillance will be greatly increased by installing cameras inside and out.

12. Adjacent property will be acquired for additional parking spaces.

13. The following means for extending services further into the community will be considered/investigated: a) one or more basic service kiosks for pickup and return of materials and placing of requests, b) a full-fledged bookmobile service will be assessed and a feasibility study done. Grant funding will be pursued as necessary. c) establishing a branch location.

14. The Library will explore a full range of traditional and nontraditional security measures, including more and improved lighting for the parking

15. The Library will look into providing more natural lighting for the third floor through the use of skylights.

16. The Library will evaluate, update and expand adult programming to reflect the needs of a changing community.
The Library will assess, and provide for, the community’s information needs. Schoolwork support, teen programs, how-to and basic skills collections will be strengthened. Business and career information services will be provided.

Access to, and ease of obtaining and returning, materials will be improved.


1. The Library will investigate collaborating with other regional libraries on developing cooperative print reference collections in order to reduce expensive redundancy of little-used material.

2. The print reference collection will be reevaluated and reduced by 20%.

3. The feasibility of offering live online reference service during regular library hours will be explored. Virtual reference systems will be considered.

4. In response to the rapid growth of the aging community, the large print collection will be increased as necessary.

5. The teen Summer Reading Program enrollment and sessions will be increased by 20%.

6. A Teen Advisory Board will be formed and topical clubs will be encouraged for young adults based on their current interests.

7. The Local History collection will be moved to the Founder’s Room. The collection management policy will be reviewed and updated and the collection built and refined accordingly.

8. As the availability of online databases increases, the periodical back file and microforms holdings will be reduced accordingly.

9. The materials selection policy will be reviewed every two years.

10. An after-hours reserve pickup locker will be implemented for Finkelstein patrons only.

11. A self-checkout system will be acquired by 2008.

12. The current materials security system will be upgraded by 2006 and, subsequently, RFID technology will start to be phased in within three years.

13. The feasibility of implementing a new integrated library system will be studied, given the shortcomings of the Horizon system, and the public catalog in particular.

14. A Children’s Advisory Board will be established. Teen volunteers will assist with Children’s programming, Summer Reading Club, the web page, and story time. The homework help tutoring program will be expanded.

15. The Young Adult Collection will be expanded and moved to the former Local History Room.
To provide access to a full range of instructional technology for teaching purposes.

To provide training in locating and evaluating online resources.

To provide wide and varied access to computers throughout theLibrary.

1. The Library will provide video-conferencing equipment, a document reader, and digital projectors for use in distance learning, meetings, training for staff and the public, as well as educational partnerships with schools and the community.

2. A “smart board” touch-screen will be provided for use in computer training.

3. Multimedia computers with headphones and other individualized educational tools will be provided that can be used for self-paced individualized instruction.

4. Computers will be provided in various areas throughout the building, some of which can be used for training and self-paced instruction.

5. Instruction in the use of Internet search engines, software applications and interactive CDs will be provided.

6. Provide instruction in how to perform basic and advanced searches in the Library’s online catalog.

7. Assistance in the use of test practice and world language instructional online resources, such as learn-a-test and Rosetta Stone, will be made available.

8. Training in critical thinking skills will be provided to both children and adults.

9. General-use computers outside the 3rd floor Technology Center will be available.

10. A wireless network will be implemented on each floor of the Library.