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Strategic Plan

Indiana State Library Strategic Plan

Mission: Serving Indiana residents, leading and supporting the library community and preserving Indiana history

About ISL: The Indiana State Library is responsible for:

  1. Developing and providing library services to state government, its branches, its departments and its officials and employees;
  2. Providing for the individual citizens of the state those specialized library services not generally appropriate, economical or available in other libraries of the state;
  3. Encouraging and supporting the development of the library profession; and
  4. Strengthening services of all types of publicly and privately supported special, school, academic, and public libraries.

Throughout its history, the Indiana State Library has developed strong collections in the fields of Indiana history and culture, Indiana state government and United States government publications, Indiana newspapers, genealogy and family history resources on Indiana and the eastern United States, Braille, large print, and books on tape for the visually impaired, library science, and American history, politics, and economics.  Its collections in these areas support research by state agency employees, scholars, genealogists, librarians, students, Indiana residents who are blind or have physical disabilities, and the general public.  The Library Development Office and Professional Development Office work to improve and support the libraries of Indiana through assistance, training, and supervising the distribution of state and federal funds.

To fulfill our mission, we will:

  • Provide excellent customer service.
  • Assist patrons in meeting their own information needs.
  • Be aware of and utilize a wide variety of resources and technologies to increase the quality and efficiency of our work.
  • Continue to be the most educated and proficient researchers on the topics of Indiana history and genealogy.
  • Continue to have the most complete collections of federal and state documents in Indiana.
  • Stay ahead of the curve in utilizing new information resources by continuing to purchase new resources to better meet our patron’s needs.
  • Track our services through quality control checks and conversations with users.
  • Develop new services and consistently re-evaluate existing services.
  • Demonstrate leadership within the library community by establishing a presence within professional associations and literature.
  • Commit to change when necessary and update our skills to accommodate those changes.
  • Utilize strategic alliances with other organizations to help us accomplish our goals.
  • Continue to maintain and circulate Indiana's most comprehensive collection of special materials for its citizens who have a visual or physical disability that prevents them from reading standard print.
  • Remain conscientious of these initiatives to help meet the mission of the Indiana State Library.

Goal 1: Increase Hoosiers’ awareness, appreciation, and use of the Indiana State Library’s programs, services, and resources.


Increase promotion of events and services via social media, YouTube videos, podcasts, public calendars, and other promotional platforms and tailor the message to the intended audience.

Develop and implement a recognizable brand for the library that can be used when creating a marketing campaign and marketing style guide for promotion of library events and services.

Create an outreach plan, in collaboration with other Indiana historical groups, to assist teachers in using ISL’s primary resources for the new high school Indiana History elective course newly available during the 2018-2019 school year.

Utilize various data and analytics to evaluate and report how frequently ISL’s resources are used and in what capacities.

Assist the ISL Foundation in creating a unique event and donor list that can be used to market ISL’s programs and services.

Embedded librarians. Create and implement agency liaisons that matches each librarian and subject specialist with a coordinating agency to open communication, increase cross-promotion, and facilitate potential partnerships.

Goal 2: Promote an environment that ensures the Indiana State Library staff and librarians statewide are equipped with the resources, processes and professional development to be successful.


Allocate adequate funding for professional development, resources, and supplies.

Provide training opportunities at least once a year, either in person or electronically, that will serve as professional development for library staff and can also serve as training for other librarians and state employees. Inform and encourage other librarians and state employees about the ability to use ISL’s archived training resources for their own professional development.

Implement cross training initiatives to equip each division with a stronger understanding of resources and services provided by the other library divisions.

Goal 3: Leverage partnership opportunities to enhance services to the communities we serve.


Work with the various agencies that serve citizens with disabilities to educate and promote the Talking Book and Braille Library.

Create and implement a list of active and potential partnerships that can be used to open communication, increase cross-promotion, and facilitate potential collaborations.

Facilitate a partnership with the State Personnel Department to ensure all new state employees are aware of the value of the State Library borrower’s card and research services available.

Seek out and foster partnerships with various genealogy, cultural, and historical institutions to better serve the patrons with their research needs.

Facilitate a discussion with the Indiana Historical Society and the Indiana Department of Administration about parking options for the ISL research patrons.

Goal 4: Build ISL’s services to the communities we serve with innovative uses of technology to align with evolving conditions.


Create a long term digital collection plan to address the needs of collection storage, data and metadata cleanup, workflow, and oversight.

Create and implement a digitization plan to provide increased digital access to the unique items in the ISL’s collection.

Develop a Talking Book and Braille plan to prepare staff and patrons for technology changes that will be facilitated by NLS in the next five years.

Complete a yearly analysis on all electronic resources to ensure the ISL’s collections and databases are meeting the needs of the communities we serve.

Goal 5: Continue to build a relevant collection that emphasizes Indiana History and reflects the vision and mission of the ISL and strive to appropriately preserve the collection to ensure long-term access for future generations of Hoosiers.


Create an updated collection development policy and donation guidelines with clearly defined priorities that matches funding and space allocation.

Evaluate preservation needs and create a funding plan to meet the needs of caring for a large historical collection.

Create an acquisitions budget either through additional state funds, reallocated federal funds, or foundation funds that allows for purchasing of unique genealogy and Indiana history collection materials.

Evaluate, weed, and shift the print collection so that the resources in each collection are relevant and accessible to the communities served.

Evaluate Talking Book and Braille sub-regional libraries and consolidate collection services to one central location in preparation of future changes implemented by the National Library Service. Continue aggressive outreach of the TBBL library to prepare and educate Hoosiers about this valuable free serve.

Organizational Competencies

Organizational competencies are the library’s capacity or efficiency that is necessary to enable the library to achieve the goals and objectives in its strategic plan.


Create a social media committee and focus group that will ensure the library is effectively using print media, the website and electronica media to communicate with the public.

Create a logo that will be used in re-branding and can be consistently used in all promotional materials.

Regularly use marketing data and analytics to evaluate the effectiveness of all marketing and public relations.

Track and utilize trending hashtags to promote library events and services.

Regularly evaluate the website as a marketing tool and ensure material is accurate, up to date, and easy to find. Ensure notable events are placed in highly visible locations.

External partnerships

Create guidelines for and implement staff liaisons to other state agencies.

Create a list of current and potential partners and include what their organization does. Plan to reach out to other similar organizations to discuss potential partnerships. Facilitate and encourage cross-promotion of events and services offered by partner organizations.

Create guidelines for public speakers bureau and other outside programming.

Work with other cultural organization to assist high school educators with the newly implemented Indiana History elective course.

Facilitate a conversation with other State Libraries regarding their services and potential idea sharing.

Training and staff development

Create and facilitate a new hire orientation that adequately trains new employees on ISL’s service priorities.

Regularly identify staff training needs and structure training to meet these needs. Draft annual goals to assist staff in completing necessary training.

Create training for staff on the difference between marketing and leveraging partnerships.

Continue to offer relevant in-house and webinar training opportunities that ensures staff are proficient in current technology.

Organizational structure

Create a digital plan, including integration of staff working on digital projects, oversight, and workflow procedures.

Complete a thorough building evaluation (public space and work space) and make adjustments accordingly.

Create an updated Collection Development Plan that looks to minimize current gaps in the collection and continues to build in vital collection areas.

Review and revise all staff job descriptions to match changing work priorities given to ensure strategic plan goals and objectives are completed.

Create and regularly monitor the ISL committee list to ensure relevance of all committees and their activities.

AD JS 9-25-2018