Strategic Plan

Rockbridge Regional Library System
FIVE YEAR PLAN 2018 – 2022


Bruce McWilliams, Chair

Doug Horan, Vice Chair

Nick Charles, Treasurer

Thomas Lominac, Deputy Treasurer
Buena Vista

Jane Armstrong
Buena Vista

Carl Behrens

Janet Bryan

Cackie Dowd

Stephanie Hardy
Buena Vista

Gail Heslep

Marjorie Kasch

Paul Leonhard


Ronda Clayton, Bath Branch Assistant Manager

Alisa Cummings, Outreach Services Assistant

Christie Gearheart, Circulation System Manager

Sharon Lindsay, Bath Branch Manager

Katie Ramsey, Adult Programming Specialist

Elaina Skovira, Buena Vista Branch Manager

Barbara Slough, Glasgow Branch Manager

Ruth Tolson, Goshen Branch Manager


Rockbridge Regional Library System (RRLS) serves the counties of Rockbridge and Bath, the cities of Lexington and Buena Vista, and the towns of Glasgow and Goshen.  The region is 1149 square miles.

RRLS serves a population of 40,000 with 18,182 registered borrowers.  RRLS operates a bookmobile and five locations in Lexington, Buena Vista, Glasgow, Goshen and Warm Springs.  There are 39 employees, 14 full-time and 26 part-time.  The staff includes 7 professional librarians.

System-wide, RRLS branch libraries operate 226 total hours a week and have a total collection of 255,121 items. RRLS circulates about 221,579 items a year, answers about 22,000 reference questions a year, and has about 230,000 visits annually.

Outreach Services include our Bookmobile and serves residents across the region including senior centers, day cares, schools and community agencies.  Services for homebound residents and books by mail are also provided.

Rockbridge Regional Library Mission Statement

Rockbridge Regional Library System (RRLS) staff bolster the power of education, cultivate opportunities for learning, foster the fun in reading and serve communities as information professionals.


The five year Plan that follows reflects input from our patrons, communities and staff.  It is the result of the knowledge and best efforts of the individuals who created it.   To optimize feedback, print and online surveys were developed and group discussions were held about the future of RRLS.  While working through the process, our goal was for the Plan to be responsive, flexible and clear.  Guided by this Plan, Rockbridge Regional Library System will continue to serve our communities providing information, learning opportunities and enjoyable experiences for our patrons.

The Plan takes into account a variety of factors that include input from residents, economic climate, and demographic trends. The Plan is reviewed and revised annually.

Focus Areas

We learned from survey responses that residents across the region are satisfied with library collections, services and staff overall.  However, survey comments and group discussions also revealed requests for improvements to spaces, collections and programming.

While many residents are aware of the library via our brightly colored Bookmobile and matching delivery van, we found our publicity lacking as most find out about library events via staff members rather than other formats.  Further, many residents are not aware that RRLS branches are part of a library system which offers access to more collections and services.

Survey responses expressed a need for larger and additional libraries, additional parking and facilities with easier access. Not all locations are ADA compliant.  More workshops and classes were also requested.  Residents also expressed a desire for quiet, comfortable spaces as well as outdoor seating, brighter meeting rooms and maker spaces.

The RRLS Five Year Plan contains four focus areas to address feedback from surveys and group discussions, and guide the library system in the future:

  • Patron centered libraries
  • Welcoming environments
  • Improved collections
  • Sustainable organization

Focus 1: Patron centered libraries

RRLS is a patron centered library system with programs, resources and services which represent community interests.

  1. Provide easy access to libraries, collections and services
    • Review circulation procedures and borrowing guidelines
    • Improve navigation and use of RRLS libraries for all patrons
    • Evaluate hours, staffing levels and capabilities of all RRLS locations to provide best service to communities
  1. Provide meaningful programs and services to communities
    • Utilize demographics to develop program topics, workshops and speakers
    • Ensure each program has a literacy element
    • Develop and implement system to evaluate all programs for success
  1. Continue to collect and value input from library patrons
    • Develop ongoing plan to collect input from patrons and staff
    • Track suggestions and evaluate for implementation
    • Analyze patterns about library usage to improve services

Focus 2: Welcoming and safe environments

RRLS strives to provide updated spaces and resources, both in our branches and online with the goal of providing pleasant and productive experiences for patrons and visitors.

  1. Provide spaces that are inviting, engaging, and comfortable
    • Develop a plan to update lighting, furnishings and signage
    • Look for opportunities to create quiet spaces
    • Evaluate existing locations, including outdoor spaces to maximize use
    • Review security plan and promote safe spaces
  1. Enhance library communications
    • Improve navigation of website for patrons
    • Work with communities to develop and promote patron-created content in catalog
    • Connect patrons to library services and programs via the website and social media
    • Develop system-wide media packet
  1. Continue to improve technology access
    • Provide a reliable network
    • Explore faster speeds
    • Implement new technology and train staff and patrons
    • Look for opportunities to create makerspaces (creative learning and collaboration) in existing buildings

Focus 3: Improved collections

RRLS collections serve lifelong learners through print and digital resources which reflect the needs and interests of the communities we serve.

  1. Connect patrons to popular books, music, films and eBooks
    • Highlight acquisitions via digital formats
    • Develop book discussion groups in keeping with demographics
    • Provide interlibrary loans
  1. Provide well rounded collections in all locations
    • Look for gaps in collections
    • Explore ways to maximize collections accessibility with a variety of formats
    • Revise guidelines and training for collection maintenance
  1. Utilize attractive displays and exhibits
    • Ensure 3D elements in RRLS displays
    • Develop annual plans for exhibits and displays
    • Host traveling exhibits
    • Provide opportunities for local artists to exhibit artwork

Focus 4: Sustainable Organization

RRLS works to attain sustainability of system resources through stewardship of finances, employee participation and professional development, and partnerships which augment programs and services.

  1. Evaluate business practices and workflow to ensure efficiency
    • Explore additional means of payment for fees and donations
    • Improve access to financial reports for managers
    • Continue to follow internal control methods
    • Streamline workflow in collections, technology and resource sharing
  1. Be fiscally transparent and financially stable
    • Explore avenues for fundraising and additional revenue streams
    • Post financial reports online
    • Engage stakeholders in budget development process
  1. Support and empower staff with professional development and training
    • Create a culture of inclusion and accountability for staff
    • Create a program for staff to remain current in technology
    • Develop annual training for staff
    • Execute policies and procedures with consistent interpretation at all locations in the system
  1. Seek and establish partnerships
    • Explore programming in which community organizations complement library services and expertise
    • Rework volunteer process and experience
    • Foster connections with local schools, business and city/county agencies
    • Work with library related agencies to contribute to the future of librarianship

In accordance with requirements from the Library of Virginia, this five year Plan will be reviewed on an annual basis with revisions and updates made when necessary. Updates will be submitted to the Library of Virginia annually.

Adopted DATE by the Rockbridge Regional Library System Board of Trustees

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