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Alexandria Library 5-Year Plan 2022-2026

The Alexandria Library builds community by providing opportunities to learn, explore, create, and connect. The Library focuses that goal in the community through different service priorities as established in its 5-Year Plan. The Alexandria Library refreshed its 5-Year Plan by inviting input from the community and other partners to update its priorities and objectives.

See the finished 5-Year Plan Refresh document here.

Message from the Director

Strong libraries are needed today more than ever as we are one of the few institutions that brings the community together in spite of differences in politics, religion or socio-economics. We will succeed as long as we remember that we are here to offer knowledge and possibility to all who enter our doors.

In 2021, the Alexandria Library embarked on a refresh of its Five-Year Plan. Staff conducted research on the community’s makeup, including changing demographics, educational attainment, languages spoken and social economic status. Community surveys were created in multiple languages and shared inside branches, on the Library website, social media, and during limited outreach. While focus groups were conducted, participation was limited due to the pandemic.

Through this process, the seven focus areas where we believe the Library can have the greatest impact on the City of Alexandria were re-affirmed. Over the next five years the library will use this guidance to better serve the community.

Support for Learners of All Ages

Provide increased support for learners of all ages through enhanced workshops, materials and staff development.

  • Provide programming and resources for families, young children and youth to ensure school readiness, academic success, and career readiness.
  • Expand programming efforts targeted to older adults and their unique needs and interests.
  • Increase support for English Language Learners (ELL) throughout the community by emphasizing onsite instruction and supporting materials.

Library Collections

Provide additional resources for customers and enhanced access to special collections through strategic budgeting, acquisitions and collection maintenance.

  • Expand world language collections to meet the needs of the community.
  • Examine usage data to better allocate Library resources to purchase materials in both print and electronic formats that align with community needs and wants.
  • Special collections will emphasize digitizing collection indexes and research guides to allow a wider audience to access the collection.

Technology Management and Access

Become known as a technology leader within the community by providing innovative services and access to technology and training.

  • Provide community members of all ages with access to innovative technology.
  • Identify community partners to assist with training for staff and customers.
  • Effectively manage and evaluate existing and new technology offerings.

Library as a Community Hub

The Library is recognized as a community gathering space through its welcoming facilities, excellent customer service and diverse programmatic offerings.

  • Provide safe, clean, and comfortable facilities and spaces.
  • Conduct facilities assessments/space evaluations at all locations.
  • Provide programming that is diverse, dynamic, educational, and supportive of community concerns.

Organizational Health and Development

Retain dedicated and engaged staff members, committed to the Library’s mission and their roles in implementing strategic initiatives.

  • Offer comprehensive training to staff to increase performance, accountability, job satisfaction and retention.
  • Promote and reward employee retention and loyalty through recognition programs.
  • Work with the City of Alexandria to ensure compensation and benefits are competitive and allow us to hire and retain staff.

Community Relations, Marketing and Branding

Increase the Library’s visibility throughout the community through comprehensive outreach, updated marketing materials and consistent branding.

  • Create and implement a comprehensive marketing plan and maintain a constant brand with complementary marketing materials.
  • Increase the Library’s visibility in the community through outreach and civic engagement efforts such as participating in after school program outreach, farmers’ markets, and tabling at local City events.
  • The Library will expand its outreach to underserved populations with the addition of an electric vehicle.
  • Increase the Library’s social media presence.

Fundraising and Advocacy

The Library will work with City government to secure adequate funding and will seek out fundraising and grant opportunities to further our mission.

  • Work with the Library foundations and Library Friends groups to develop funding support.
  • Develop an annual advocacy program to gain public and private support.
  • Cultivate relationships with key community advocates and organizations.

Chair: Trudi Bellardo Hahn, City Council citizen appointee
Vice Chair: Robert Ray IV, Alexandria Library Company appointee
Treasurer: Karen Marshall, City Council citizen appointee
Secretary: Patricia Dane Rogers, Alexandria Library Company appointee
Canek Aguirre, Alexandria City Council Member
Oscar P. Fitzgerald, Alexandria Library Company appointee
Kathleen Schloeder, City Council citizen appointee

Special thanks to the 5-Year Plan Committee

5-Year Plan Refresh Community Survey Results

The Library’s 5-Year-Plan expired in 2020. Staff began an effort to refresh the existing plan, but the project was put on hold by the COVID-19 pandemic until 2021. 

When work resumed in 2021, a community survey was conducted to gather feedback on the previous 5-Year Plan. Participants were asked to rank the existing Focus Areas from the existing plan based on their needs, community needs, and how the City changed since creation of the 2015-2020 plan. Nearly 500 responses were collected and analyzed to inform the Refreshed Plan.

Complete survey results can be found here.

A copy of the Community survey can be found here.

Click here

City of Alexandria Demographic Profile

As part of the 5-Year Plan refresh, staff collected research on the demographic make-up of Alexandria City residents. Below are some of the key findings:

  • Alexandria's total population has increased by 12% (over 19,000 new residents) since 2015. Citizens aged 10-14 increased by 36% and those aged 55-74 grew by 24%. 
  • Our immigrant population has grown too and there is a greater need for foreign language resources, specifically Spanish and Amharic. The library has increased its foreign language collection.
  • Prosperity gaps are widening with the wealth gap more than doubling between the lowest and highest earners. The library now offers wireless hotspots and Chromebooks to help bridge the digital divide.
  • COVID-19 arrived and its long-lasting impact will affect all areas of life including libraries. 

View the complete Demographic Profile report here.