St. Ignace Public Library
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St. Ignace Public Library:  Mission, vision statement, and strategic plan



Strategic Plan Summary

Planning Process

In 2020, the Library Board of Trustees and director began discussing the need to focus on reviewing and updating our mission, vision, and strategic goals for the St. Ignace Public Library (SIPL).  In early 2021, Alycia McKowen created and administered a survey of the community to better understand how they use the library and what changes they would like to see.  Forty-two survey responses were received.  The board reviewed the results during its May 2021 meeting.  Highlights of survey results include:

  • 97% said pre-COVID 19 library hours met their needs
  • 75% of respondents prefer to see our programs offered at the library
  • Breakdown of primary source for library updates:
    • 52% social media (Facebook, Instagram)
    • 33% library website
    • 24% newspaper
    • 17% word of mouth
    • 14% sign and flyers at the library
    • 2% email
  • Five respondents indicated they might like to receive direct emails from the library
  • Technology use of library:
    • 71% Wi-Fi
    • 52% download eBooks/audiobooks etc.
    • 45% library computers
    • 39% computers for accessing library catalog
    • 23% databases for research
  • Respondents indicated they would like to see improvements in technology:
    • 57% more eBooks/audiobooks
    • 30% better library website
    • 30% more databases (language learning, movies, etc.)
    • 13% Makerspace
  • Collections respondents would like to see improved/expanded/updated:
    • 41% adult non-fiction
    • 33% adult fiction and DVDs
    • 30% children’s materials
    • 11% music CDs
    • 7% tween/teen/magazines & newspapers/books on CD
  • Areas of the library respondents would like to see improved or expanded:
    • 36% service area for children
    • 32% more quiet reading rooms and more meeting rooms
    • 24% study rooms and service area for teens
    • 20% layout and arrangement
    • 12% better inside directional signing
    • 8% library computer space
    • 4% acoustics

The board then had a standing agenda item to discuss our mission, vision, and goals.  In November 2021, a small team took the work done to date to draft this plan.

Planning Team

  • Loni Brown, Trustee
  • David Coven, Trustee
  • Eliska Grogan, President
  • Ruth LaChapelle, Trustee
  • Elaine MacDonald, Trustee
  • Kim Nowack, Trustee
  • Martha Sjogren, Vice-president
  • Alycia McKowen, Library Director


Vision Statement:

The St. Ignace Public Library is the essential information center of the community.  We foster the spirit of exploration, lifelong learning, the joy of reading, and the pursuit of information and knowledge.

Mission Statement:

The mission of the St. Ignace Public Library is to provide materials, resources, and services to foster the evolving educational, informational, cultural, and recreational enrichment of all the people of the communities it serves.

Goals and Objectives:

As the St. Ignace Public Library looks toward the future, the goals outlined in this strategic plan and annual action plans must move the library to the next level.  The library millage passed in 2016 in the city of St. Ignace and the townships of Moran and St. Ignace has created financial stability for the library for this decade.  The need to address the new potential for our community has been slowed by a change in library directors resulting in an important need to allow the new director time to gain familiarity with the community and library.  Planning efforts were also delayed by the global pandemic.  However, it is imperative that the library finalize a plan and move forward to better serve the community before the board and community need to consider a library millage in 2026.

The board has been successful in creating and funding a depreciation fund, which has a balance of $25,000 to address ongoing facility maintenance.  Additionally, the general fund balance is currently about $400,000.  While some portion of that is needed to complete planned expenses for this fiscal year, the reality is that since the 2016 millage, revenues have exceeded planned budget by about $51,000 annually.  One inherent challenge is the annual fluctuation and uncertainty about penal fines as they are unpredictable and yet make up a significant portion of the budget.  In recent years, penal fines have been as high as $80,000 in 2016 and as low as $40,000 in 2019.  There is a need to maintain a general fund balance to meet current budget needs and emergencies (rainy day fund), but it is important that the board decide whether the library needs to grow its services or physical facility to utilize available funds or if the appropriate approach in 2026 is to let the voters know we need a millage but at a reduced amount.

In addition to strategic goals and objectives, an action plan will be developed each year.  Annual action plans will include specific actions that will be completed as the organization works toward achieving the strategic goals and objectives below.  Library director will include the annual action plan as an agenda topic each September and will draft the action plan for the following year for review and approval by the board in October (to coincide with budget development).



  1. Maintain and retain well-trained, friendly, service-oriented staff that is adaptive and responsive
  2. Increase Board engagement
  3. Ensure financial stability in the short and long term
  4. Evaluate library facility for possible changes to physical structure to meet identified desire for small study/meeting pods and enhanced service area for children
  5. Support access to information through development of traditional collections and a strong technology replacement program



  1. Continue service to current library users and those groups we currently participate with
  2. Recognize the value the Friends of the Library provides
  3. Work with St. Ignace Area Schools and Moran Township School (Gros Cap School) to understand their students’ needs for the SIPL and strive to meet those needs…the young are our future patrons
  4. Reach out to our townships (Moran and St. Ignace) and Bois Blanc to determine if there are specific additional ways to provide services
  5. Ask Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians if we can do more to support their members within the library community



  1. Promote literacy and enrich people’s lives through lifelong learning
  2. Increase community awareness of and support for the library
  3. Provide a welcoming, vibrant atmosphere that draws community members to the library like moths to a flame
  4. Offer a wide range of programs to attract all members of the community and develop a rubric for evaluating successful programs which is more than just “number of participants”
  5. Create an annual event unique to the library that becomes identified within the community as the library event

SIPL Action Plan- 2024


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