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Public Library Develops Strategic Plan to Guide Future Services

Oct 01, 2019

Cumberland County Public Library & Information Center received a $21,080 federally funded Library Services and Technology Act grant from the State Library of North Carolina. The grant will provide funding for a consultant to assist in developing the library’s five-year strategic plan. The current plan ends in 2020.  

During October, the library is encouraging Cumberland County residents to complete a survey that will provide important feedback for the strategic plan. Survey participants will have a chance to win a $100 VISA gift card donated by the Friends of the Library, Inc. The survey is available online at  Paper copies may be completed at any library location, and 1,000 surveys will be mailed to randomly selected Cumberland County addresses. 

“A strategic plan will guide the library staff in areas that have the most impact in Cumberland County and for the community's well-being. It's an exciting process to be involved in,” said Library Director Jody Risacher.


Anthony Chow, Ph.D., who serves on the faculty at the University of North Carolina Greensboro, is the consultant guiding the process. The project includes a community needs assessment, public surveys and interviews with local leaders. The information gathered will contribute to developing a flexible strategic plan to help the library effectively manage resources for services and programs.

“I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with the Cumberland County Public Library on their long-range strategic plan. Like most organizations, libraries must continue to evolve based on the needs of the people they serve. We will be using a wide array of data collection methods to ensure we have a valid and reliable sample. Once we understand the wishes of the community, we will develop a comprehensive plan to address those needs,” Chow said.

The previous plan, released in 2015, outlined six organizational goals: to provide access to information; support self-directed learning; support diversity in the community; provide safe, comfortable and welcoming spaces; support connecting and participating in the digital world; and encouraging lifelong literacy and creative expression.

For more information about the Cumberland County Public Library, visit


The grant is made possible by funding from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (IMLS grant number LS-00-19-0034-19).