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Preliminary Summaryof Key ThemesExploratory Focus Groupsand Environmental ScanningSt. Charles Public LibraryStrategic Planning Workshop1

Stakeholder Focus GroupsData Gathering Framework Eight focus groups were conducted from late August to late September 2017. Focus groups are a highly interactive approach allowing a robust cross-section ofinformation to be gathered from stakeholders across the community. Focus groups generally included 8-12 participants during each session. The focus group sessions conducted included the following: Library StaffFriends/Foundation Focus GroupAdult User/Resident Group (2)Young Adult Focus GroupIntergovernmental Focus GroupSchool District 303 Focus GroupOpen Town Hall2

Focus Group Data Gathering Framework(cont’d) All focus groups were greeted by the Director of the Library a on behalf of the Board. The Directordeparted and all groups/participants were asked the same set of 6 questions by the facilitators:1. How would you describe the St. Charles Public Library to a stranger or someone who doesn’t live or work here?2. If you left St. Charles tomorrow, and did not see or encounter the library for 15-20 years, what do you think you’llsee, or what do you hope you’ll see, when you return?3. What do you like best about the St. Charles Public Library? Related to that, what are the strengths/greatest assetsof the Library?4. Can you identify areas or topics in need of attention or improvement? Related to that, what are theweaknesses/greatest needs in the St. Charles Public Library? Challenges?5. What are/should be the top priorities for the Library over the next 3-5 years?6. If you could change or initiate one key item or thing about the Library, what would it be? The data analysis methodology is to transcribe, organize, review and code the qualitative data, in theaggregate. CGS scans and categorizes all input to identify themes and/or outliers within questions.3

Process IntroductionExploratory Focus Group Sessions2017 The information that follows presents an overview and summary of key themes and topics thatemerged during the exploratory focus group/community engagement process. These stakeholder input sessions serve as a primer for the environmental scanning component ofthe strategic planning process. The information is designed to add exploratory & thematic information for the Board and SeniorLeadership Teams to consider during the upcoming strategic planning workshop sessions.4

Stakeholder Visioning ResultsGeneral Themes For the St. Charles PublicLibrary we envision a future in which: The library serves as an inviting community gathering place to fostercollaboration and connectivity throughout the community. The library’s interior space is enhanced with more meeting and study areasto foster group projects, student learning opportunities and may include acafe’ There are more blended learning opportunities to enhance diverseparticipation (i.e., age, race, ethnicity, etc.) An emphasis on being a resource center remains the core mission withcommunity access to resources, books, programs and technology. There are increased activities and programs for the younger adultpopulation.5

Key Themes & Data Analysis HighlightsAcross All Questions The St. Charles Public Library is A strong community resource with a variety of quality services Inviting, friendly and comfortable with historic charm Connected to the community An excellent gathering place for community members Centrally-located Up-to-date with technology Progressive and innovative6

Key Themes & Data Analysis HighlightsAcross All Questions The St. Charles Public Library offers Superior customer service from professional and knowledgeable staff Access to a vast variety of high-quality resources, collections, programsand services Fantastic community outreach and outstanding community events Technology resources Adds historical character and charm to the community Excellent, knowledgeable and dedicated professional staff A welcoming gathering place for individual growth or group interactions7

Key Themes & Data Analysis HighlightsAcross All Questions The St. Charles Public Library should strive towards Enhancing community awareness of the library’s services and programs Developing a marketing and communication strategy Increasing intergovernmental coordination and collaboration Addressing space needs and improving internal space functionality Offering diverse approaches to learning via programs and services Staying current with technology and improving rooms with technological amenities Enhanced inclusivity/diversifying staff/multi-lingual programs/representative of allcommunity members Updating the facility’s space to meet service needs and functionality Enhance facility access with improved parking and safe walkways8

Key Themes & Data Analysis HighlightsAcross All Questions The St. Charles Public Library’s future expectations and priorities are to Conduct a space needs assessment Increase meeting and interactive learning rooms/areas Establish a “Makerspace” Create an inspiring atmosphere with cozy seating and natural light Attract more middle and high school students Support more youth activities and programs Enhance intergovernmental coordination and bridge community resources Improve communication and relations between Board and staff members andwith the community9

Frequency of Words/Phrases At a Glance Phrase/Term(s) OverallFrequency*Space/Building/Facility74Programs and Resources65Friendly, Knowledgeable and Helpful staff40Youth-Focused Activities/Student Services26Technology23Community Outreach/Increased Awareness of Library’s Resources and Services18Centrally Located/Additional Satellite Locations18Cozy Seating/Natural Light/Better lighting16Coffee Shop/Café13* note: all frequencies are approximate, based on qualitative data analysis method employed10

Overall SummaryOpportunities for ImprovementStrengths Variety of programs, resources, and services Address space needs and functionality Collection development Professional, knowledgeable and highlycommitted staffEnhance community outreach and awareness oflibrary services Update facility with more seating areas and a caféspace Elicit stronger student and youth involvement andsupport youth activities Establish unified direction and improvedcommunication internally Increase intergovernmental collaboration andsharing of resources Improve parking and safe walkways Adapting to evolving demographics of all kinds Superior customer service Centrally located Connected to community Community gathering place Safe and inviting place to go to or gather withothers Access to technology and unique resources11

Thank you!Contact Information:Greg Kuhn, PhDAssistant Director of Public Management and TrainingNorthern Illinois University’s Center for Governmental StudiesNIU and CGS Study Team MembersProf. Alicia Schatteman, Dept. of Public AdministrationJeanna Ballard, MPA, Research Analyst, CGSMel Henriksen, MPP Research Associate, CGSJaniece Bollie, BA, Research Analyst, CGSMolly Hall, BA, Graduate Research Assistant, CGS12

Frequent Themes/Phrases Q-1 Question 1: “How would you describe the St. Charles Public Library to a stranger or someone whodoesn’t live or work here?” Vast variety of quality services/diverse programming/strong community resource ical charm/safe/quiet (33)Connected to the community/community gathering place/collaborative/great community events (28)Excellent professional staff/superior customer service (18)Centrally located/accessible/connected to downtown (12)Up-to-date technology/online opportunities/innovative/progressive (8)13

Frequent Themes/Phrases Q-2. Question 2: “If you left St. Charles tomorrow, and did not see or encounter the library for 1520 years, what do you think you’ll see, or what do you hope you’ll see, when you return?” Community gathering place/inclusive/foster partnership and collaboration with governmental andcommunity organizations/strong community outreach and connection (40) Improve internal space functionality/more meeting and study room areas/utilize outdoorspace/satellite locations/increase parking (34) Re-examine library’s role in the community/blended learning opportunities/increase diversity/varietyof programs for all ages (26) Keep up with technological advances/establish a Makerspace/charging stations (14)14

Frequent Themes/Phrases Q-2. Question 2: “If you left St. Charles tomorrow, and did not see or encounter the library for 1520 years, what do you think you’ll see, or what do you hope you’ll see, when you return?” Emphasis on resource center/maintain book collection/preserve historic charm/retain knowledgeablestaff (11) Maintain positive atmosphere/natural lighting/quiet zones/specialized lighting/cozyseating/warm/inviting (11) Attract younger adults/student service projects/increase activities and programs for teenagepopulation (9) Coffee shop (7)15

Frequent Themes/Phrases Q-3 Question 3: “What do you like best about the St. Charles Public Library? Related to that,what are the strengths/greatest assets of the Library?” Strategic leadership/fiscally responsible/professional staff/superior customer service/strongcommunication (31) Access to resources/variety of quality programs and services/collection development/inter-libraryloan (27) Fantastic community outreach/active in hosting community events/community gatheringplace/collaborative (14) Technology resources/online presence/innovative (12) Central location/parking/book drop off (10) Historical character/Carnegie room/outdoor space (5)16

Frequent Themes/Phrases Q-4 Question 4: “Can you identify areas or topics in need of attention or improvement?Related to that, what are the weaknesses/greatest needs in the St. Charles Public Library?Challenges?” Community outreach/enhance awareness of services and programs/marketing andcommunication strategy/intergovernmental coordination and collaboration (35) Limited space/redesign internal space to improve functionality/interactive learning andmeeting spaces /cozy seating/natural light (16) Increase capacity for programs/diversify resources/offer different approaches to learningvia programs and services/expand library hours/coffee shop (9) Stay up-to-date with technology/increase electric charging stations/rooms withtechnological amenities/improve social media sites (8)17

Frequent Themes/Phrases Q-4 Question 4: “Can you identify areas or topics in need of attention or improvement?Related to that, what are the weaknesses/greatest needs in the St. Charles Public Library?Challenges?”Enhance inclusivity/diversify staff/multi-lingual programs/represent all community members (6)Financial stability/long-term financial planning (5)Update facility/improve parking/safe walkway design/early parking on Sunday (4)Professional development opportunities for Board members/enhance relationship and awarenessbetween Board and staff (3) Stricter library code enforcement/updated library card design (2) 18

Frequent Themes/Phrases Q-5 Question 5: “What are/should be the top priorities for the Library over the next 3-5years?” Conduct space needs assessment/increase meeting rooms and seating areas/establish aMakerspace (23) Expand programming/explore social outings/maintain community’s access to resources/staycurrent with community needs (19) Attract middle and high school students/more support for youth activities and clubs/enhance andcreate social interaction opportunities for the youth population (16) Re-design interior/create an inspiring atmosphere/cozy seating/more natural light/a café (13) Improve communication between Board and staff/increase staffing levels to meet communityneeds/enhance participation and engagement between Board and staff (12)19

Frequent Themes/Phrases Q-5 Question 5: “What are/should be the top priorities for the Library over the next 3-5years?” Enhance intergovernmental coordination/bridge community resources/partner with schools toprovide resources to all students/become a community leader (11) Enhance community outreach/increase awareness of library services/communicate library’sdirection (10) Stay current with technology/expand technology/increase charging station areas (10) Improve inclusivity/offer public transportation to allow access for all community members (2)20

Frequent Themes/Phrases Q-6 Question 6: “If you could change or initiate one key item or thing about the Library, whatwould it be?” Continue to focus on collections and programming/broaden the definition of resourcelearning/maintain creativity/community gathering place/stay current with technology/ enhancecommunity communication and transparency (16) Conduct space needs assessment/update facility/maintain historical Carnegie façade/incorporatesustainability elements (14) Elicit student involvement/establish mentorship program between adults and students/increase andsupport youth activities/allow all students in District 303 to have a library card (11) Establish unified direction/improve communication and trust between Board and staff member’s/staffprofessional development training (11) Increase cozy seating areas/café shop/quiet study areas (5) Intergovernmental collaboration/sharing of library and community resources (2) Services and opportunities for the older population (2)21

Assistant Director of Public Management and Training . Northern Illinois University’s Center for Governmental Studies. NIU and CGS Study Team Members. Prof. Alicia Schatteman, Dept. of Public Administration. Jeanna Ballard, MPA, Research Analyst, CGS. Mel Henriksen, MPP Research Assoc