We in the midst of Strategic Planning here at MPOW.   And we’re lucky enough to be led through the process by Toni Garvey, of the Phoenix Public Library.

Our first task was to take a look at our mission statement.  The existing mission statement wasn’t bad, but it was typical of many.  It was too long, it was too wordy, and no one could remember the thing.  We were asked to come up with a mission statement was succinctly stated why we came to work every day.   After deliberating, we came up with this:

We connect libraries.

I love it.  It’s short, to the point, and is an excellent starting point for those elevator speeches, trying to explain what we do.

The next step was to look at the guiding principles.  Again, they were long and not particularly memorable.  I found that it was easier for me to frame them in terms of what we believe, and the group agreed.  So, our new guiding principles are there:

We believe:

  • libraries enrich communities
  • libraries are stronger when they work together
  • in a shared approach to problem-solving
  • in a culture of innovation and exploration
  • in partnership, collaboration, and communication
  • in a community of trust and respect.

I love them.

Today we have a full-day meeting with librarians throughout the region, talking further about the plan.   Stay tuned.  But I think we’ve got a really good start.


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