STRATEGIC PLAN 2016-2021
A Little History of The Oscar Foss Memorial Library "Books are the harvest sheaves of the mind. They are the several lanterns which show forth the light of science, wisdom and wit. They are the baskets which hold thoughts, choicest jewels and the goal of learning. When one enters into the spirit of the books, they seem like living souls of men. One does not need to be a bookworm or a dry, musty old philosopher to appreciate and love good books. The library is a power for good, and whatever your occupation may be, do not fail to secure a few minutes every day for refreshment of your inner life." - John George, Barnstead Free Public Library -1906
Barnstead, NH Public Library has it's humble beginnings in 1893 with a few hundred volumes housed in four separate homes around town. By 1906, the Free Public Library had consolidated into one large room in a dwelling-house that was rented by the town at the rate of $1 a month and was presided over by Librarian Mr. John Green on Tuesday and Saturday from 2-5 and 7-9. Then, in April 1916, Mrs. Sarah Ursula Foss gifted the town with a library building as a memorial to her late husband, businessman and lumber dealer Mr. Oscar Foss. It was a stone and brick building with a slate roof described as "not showy but substantial" to be built in the vacant lot opposite the Town Hall and the Congregational Church. The dimensions were 27ft by 46ft and would house the library, reading room, town offices and a vault for town records. William M. Butterfield Company was to handle the architecture and Leon F. Batchelder of Suncook was the builder. Work began in earnest on the building in May 1916 and by March 23, 1917 the work on the interior of the building was complete. On October 27, 1917 the Oscar Foss Memorial Building was dedicated. Over the last 99 years it has served the community as town offices, library, and community gathering place. In 1985, it was added to the National Historical Register and in 2000, it was expanded into the beautiful building we have today with over 17,000 items in our collection.
A Note From the Director The role of the public library is continually growing and evolving. Technological advancements, far from making the library obsolete, have allowed us to focus on different ways of serving our community. We are a meeting place, a space for parents and children to connect over story time, a place for teens to provide community service and for seniors to attend yoga.. We are the "people"s university, supporting lifelong learning by providing our patrons with access to workshops, wifi, technology assistance and information. We are a community partner, working with town organizations to better serve a wider range of people. This strategic plan was written with the intent of providing goals and direction for the library for the next five years. It is designed to help us respond quickly and effectively to community needs. As the library continues to progress, our vision for Oscar Foss Memorial Library is: to be recognized in the community as a leading organization for self-directed education and literacy; to provide valuable tools for research and learning; to anticipate community needs and respond with creative programming and materials; to be a friendly and welcoming community gathering space; to use customer needs and preferences as a basis for service decisions; to maximize the talents and potential of each employee. We are excited about the future of Oscar Foss Memorial Library and proud to serve the community of Barnstead.
Danielle Hinton, Director
Strategic Areas Mission | The Library's Purpose
The mission of the Oscar Foss Memorial Library is to provide open access to cultural, intellectual, and informative resources in order to inspire lifelong learning and support the development of well-informed and literate citizens and to serve as a welcoming and inclusive community meeting place.
Vision | Our Ideas for the Future
The Oscar Foss Memorial Library… is recognized in the community as a leading organization for self-directed education and literacy; provides valuable tools for research and learning; anticipates community needs and responds with creative programming and materials; is a friendly and welcoming community gathering space; uses patron needs and preferences as a basis for service decisions; maximizes the talents and potential of each employee.
Values | What We Believe
Inclusiveness – works toward developing materials and resources that are available to all. Community – provides a warm and welcoming space where community members can gather to learn and have fun. Collaboration – has a strong working relationship with town offices, town organizations, and the school system to accomplish more towards common goals. Learning – promotes literacy and learning in all forms.
Strategic Priorities Increase Public Awareness of Library Resources and Programs Social media and mailing lists Community input and word of mouth Flyers, posters, and newspapers
Support Educational and Learning Opportunities Work closely with the school system Provide materials that support educational goals Develop makerspace and DIY workshops Develop greater access to technology and promote technology education
Encourage a Sense of Community Create programs with other local organizations Host events that bring the community together Develop programs that celebrate town history Build a strong volunteer program
Create a Welcoming Space to Gather and Explore Ideas Provide easy access to commonly used materials Create comfortable spaces and seating areas Use displays to promote collection and provide ideas Encourage patrons to write book recommendations Showcase a different topic or idea each month Offer snacks and beverages Provide engaging and entertaining programming
Plan a Celebration for the Library's 100th Year Create programming focusing on the library's 100th year Involve the community Design a media campaign Organize a centennial committee
Increase Public Awareness of Library Resources and Programs The library offers many different programs and resources that are accessible to all members of the community. Our programs are fun, educational and (mostly) free to the public. Our resources provide access to information and materials that may not be readily available at home. We feel it is important to spread the word so our community enjoys the maximum benefit from their library!
Social Media and Mailing Lists - We plan to utilize Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and our email lists to spread the word about library programs and resources. Community Input and Word of Mouth - We will involve community members by asking them to provide feedback on programs, offer ideas for new programs and use word of mouth to share the information! Flyers, Posters and Newspapers- We will design appealing flyers, brochures and posters advertising library programs. We will share information with local newspapers and websites, as well as ask other town organizations to include us in their newsletters. Additionally, we would like to design materials that put our name out in the community, like book bags, t-shirts, and bookmarks.
Support Educational & Learning Opportunities "The only thing you absolutely have to know is the location of the library" Albert Einstein The library supports and encourages lifelong learning. We aim to provide the tools and materials necessary to educate every demographic of our town, with a focus on making information accessible to all.
Work Closely With the School System - The library wants to support and enhance the school curriculum. We will continue to attend school literacy programs, host assemblies, and lead book clubs. We would like to become more involved at the high school level by assisting young adults with their college and job searches . Provide Materials That Support Educational Goals - At the school level, we check school reading lists against our collection to ensure we have the proper materials on hand. We offer EBSCO as a resource for student research. We have a section of the library dedicated to information on testing , as well as scholarships and grants. We would like to expand this to offer SAT prep courses and workshops on essay writing and applying for college funding. Develop Makerspace and DIY Workshops - The NH State Library has a great program that circulates maker items like 3D printers, robots and building items. We plan to develop maker programs around these items. Additionally, we plan to continue with the series of DIY workshops we've been offering that teach skills like sewing, soap making, and knitting. Develop Greater Access to Technology and Technology Education - Provide the community with access to laptops, tablets, e-readers, and wifi. Provide access to computer software like Photoshop and Microsoft Office. Develop programming that teaches the use of different software and technology.
Clue at the Library
Encourage a Sense of Community In a small town, the library often needs to serve as a community center. We offer a beautiful space for groups to schedule meetings and for people to gather and socialize. Story time is a great opportunity for parents and children in the community to meet and our Teen Advocacy Group and Friends of the Library allow citizens of all ages to be an integral part of the library and to give back to their community. Create Programs With Other Local Organizations - Work with the police department, fire department, grange, historical society, schools, and other local organizations to provide informative and educational programs for the town. Host Events That Bring the Community Together - Sponsor Humanities Council events at the Town Hall, continue to host Candidate Night, celebrate the community by participating in the local farmers market, Old Home Day, and Gathering on the Green. Develop Programs That Celebrate Town History - Find local historians to share information with the community. Work with the Historical Society on ideas like a history walk around town, provide historical information on town statistics, town meetings, and celebrate important members of the community in Barnstead History. Build a Strong Volunteer Program - We love our volunteers! In addition to being a great way to get to know your neighbors and help out your community, volunteering at the library counts as community service hours for Prospect Mountain High School students. We currently offer a volunteer program, a Friends Group, and a Teen Advocacy Group and hope to build the membership over the next 5 years to support programs like delivery to homebound residents.
Create a Welcoming Space to Gather and Explore Ideas The library belongs to the community. We want everyone who walks through the doors to feel welcome and appreciated. Our goal is to create a "third place" feeling. The third place, summarized from Ray Oldenberg's The Great Good Place, is a space apart from home or work that encompasses the following ideals: Free or inexpensive - Highly accessible Involves regulars (those who habitually congregate there) - Food and Drink Welcoming and comfortable (both new friends and old should be found there) Provide Easy Access to Commonly Used Materials - Paper, pencils, copier/printer, fax machine, etc. should all be readily available and plentiful. Create Comfortable Spaces and Seating Areas - Design cozy corners for quiet reading, add more floor seating and beanbag chairs in the teen and children's areas, find a large comfortable love seat with side tables. Use Displays to Promote Collection and Provide Ideas - Create displays that suggest collections of interesting subject matter, display new releases and books that might be overlooked, have Teen Advisors create displays in the YA area. Design a calendar of monthly themes. Encourage Patrons to Write Book Recommendations - Create a shelf of books reviewed by patrons. Encourage patrons to create a display of recommendations. Teen Advisory Group to write YA book reviews for their blog that will be shared on our website. Showcase a Different Topic or Idea each month - Use topics relevant to each month, i.e. summer reads in June, haunted happenings in October. Also promote ideas that relate to library programming. Offer Snacks and Beverages - The library currently provides a candy jar, coffee or tea and water. We would like to try out a snack box with packaged snacks, or work with a local baker to provide baked goods, with sale proceeds going to the library. Provide Engaging and Entertaining Programming - Work with the community to find out where interests are strongest. Use statistics from prior programs to discover what are the most popular topics. Try out new topics regularly.
Plan a Celebration for the Library's 100th Year In October of 2017, the Oscar Foss Memorial Library will be celebrating our 100th year! We are very excited about our plans to give the library a fresh new look by efficiently using the library space and look forward to our Grand Re-Opening Celebration! Organize a Centennial Committee - Organize a group of community members to give feedback and assist with the implementation of the new library changes. Create Programming Focusing on the Library's 100th Year - We plan to incorporate some of the library's history into several passive programs throughout the year. Additionally,there will be displays focusing on the library's history. Involve the Community - Ask community members to contribute to the celebration by donating classic novels, participating in programs and volunteering with library updates. Design a Media Campaign - Develop a centennial logo, posters, t-shirts, book bags and information to distribute through our marketing channels about the centennial celebration.
Clifford visits the Library
Resources (How we'll accomplish our mission)
Operating Funds Savings Donations
Volunteers Staff Grants YOU!
Thank You! We'd like to extend our gratitude to all those who have made this strategic plan possible, and have guided the library to where it is today: Current Trustees Suzanne Allison - Chair Linda Nelson - Treasurer Rick Simoneau - Secretary Neil Twitchell - Alternate Jim Calgren - Alternate *with thanks to all former trustees Current Staff Trina Blackwood Christy Verville Lindsey Smith *with thanks to all former staff
Former OFML Directors Sharon Archambault Susan Conrad Carolyn Johnson Ellen Grau Helen Merrill Elva P Locke Chloe Woods Alice B Chapman Mabel Perry Estella Osgood Mary Banks Mabel Dobrowski Myra George
Strategic Plan Committee Kim Pica Karlene Normandin Lori Mahar Julie Marston
With additional thanks to:
OFML Teen Advisory Group - Friends of the Library - Volunteers Barnstead Elementary School - Town Hall Employees - Prospect Mountain High School