Board of Trustees Public Engagement Initiative


Introduction

As directed by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, the Fairfax County Public Library Board of Trustees is undertaking an interactive project to solicit public and staff input about the types of services and programs Fairfax County Public Library could offer in the future.

The project is scheduled for completion in summer or fall 2016. The project is guided through a unique process represented in the  Project Roadmap. The library board has the option of authorizing a strategic plan to be prepared after completion of the public input.

Project Background

The project will seek information about public and staff perceptions about the library; the types of services that will meet current and future community needs, interests and concerns; and how the library can better communicate its value to the residents of Fairfax County.

The project is being prepared using a well-defined process displayed in the Project Roadmap. This process integrates the library and library board's desire to engage the community through a variety of means to build awareness, advocacy and support, and to lay the foundation for the future. The Project Roadmap has 23 specific tasks, from start to finish. Reading the Project Roadmap is easy:

  • The left-most 'column' represents groups of participants who will make it all happen:
    • Authority: Library Board of Trustees
    • Leadership: Library Board of Trustees project planning committee.
    • Catalyst: Consulting firms retained for the project: CIVICTechnologies (Marc Futterman, principal in charge) and The Ivy Group (Nancy Davis, principal)
    • Influence: Library users, community at large, community partners, stakeholders, advocates, library staff leadership team, other library staff and others
  • The bar along the top represents the draft schedule.
  • The circles in the body of the Project Roadmap represent specific activities, their logical sequencing and their interrelationships - all designed to achieve a coherent flow of data gathering, information development and analysis; exploration and discovery; and ultimately informed decision-making.

A slide show has been prepared to introduce you to the approach CivicTechnologies is taking to the project.

There are four major means of input:

  • Public Surveys: Two surveys are in progress:
    • A random telephone survey of 1,100 respondents in both English and Spanish commenced on May 13, 2016 and is expected to be completed in about four weeks. The telephone survey will reach people with both landlines and mobile phones; only adults age 18 and over will be allowed to take the 12 minute survey.
    • The online public survey is being conducted in English only from Monday, May 16 through Tuesday evening, May 31, 2016. Fairfax County residents are encouraged to take the survey. It is available by clicking here. The public online survey can be taken on any computer or tablet using a web browser. If you don't have a computer or Internet access at home please come to one of the Library's branches and use a computer for free. Click here to see a list of branches. If you would prefer to fill out the survey on paper, you can pick one up and return it to any branch library. Paper survey's are due no later than Tuesday, May 31, 2016. Only regional branch libraries are open for a limited period on Sunday. To return the survey check your local library hours.
  • Direct Public Input: During March and April 2016 direct public input was completed including seven focus groups; multiple stakeholder interviews; six advocate interviews; and three public community forums.
  • Direct Staff and Library Board Input: An online survey for all Library staff and Library Board members will be available from May 16, 2016 through May 31, 2016; 13 staff department/division interviews were held in March and April 2016; and, an interactive work session with a staff leadership team including library branch managers and department heads was held on April 5, 2016.
  • Possible Strategic Plan. To be determined by the Library Board after completion of the surveys and direct public and staff inputs.

Note: If the library board authorizes the strategic plan, additional public and staff input will be included.

The project is managed by the Planning Committee of the Library Board of Trustees.

Ways to Give Input

There are many ways you can give your input:

Contact the Library with Questions/Comments

Library Customer Services
703-324-3100
customerservices@fairfaxcounty.gov

FAQs

How can I give my input?

We encourage your input; please fill out our public online survey available here. Paper versions of the survey are available at library branches.

What is the project timeline?

The timeline can be found here.

How do I get more information about the project planning process?

  • Review the Project Roadmap to understand the overall process in which we're engaged.
  • Take the online public survey by clicking here. The survey will be available from Thursday, April 28 to Tuesday evening May 31, 2016. Paper versions of the survey are available at library branches. After you've completed it return it to library staff at any branch. Only regional branch libraries are open for a limited period on Sunday
  • Converse via email with the project consultant Marc Futterman from CIVICTechnologies. He can be reached at this private email address: fairfax@librarystrategy.com.

Is background information about the project available?

Yes, please view the slide show.

What are the major elements of the project?

The entire project process is displayed in the Project Roadmap.

There are four major means of input:

  • Public Surveys: Two surveys are in progress:
    • A random telephone survey of 1,100 respondents in both English and Spanish commenced on May 13, 2016 and is expected to be completed in about four weeks. The telephone survey will reach people with both landlines and mobile phones; only adults age 18 and over will be allowed to take the 12 minute survey.
    • The online public survey will be conducted from Monday, May 16 through Tuesday evening, May 31, 2016. Fairfax County residents are encouraged to take the survey. It is available by clicking here. The public online survey can be taken on any computer or tablet using a web browser. If you don't have a computer or Internet access at home please come to one of the Library's branches and use a computer for free. Click here to see a list of branches. If you would prefer to fill out the survey on paper, you can pick one up and return it to any branch library. Paper survey's are due no later than Tuesday, May 31, 2016. Only regional branch libraries are open for a limited period on Sunday. To return the survey check your local library hours.
  • Direct Public Input: During March and April 2016 direct public input was completed including seven focus groups; multiple stakeholder interviews; six advocate interviews; and three public community forums.
  • Direct Staff and Library Board Input: An online survey for all Library staff and Library Board members will be available from April 28 to May 16, 2016; 13 staff department/division interviews were held in March and April 2016; and, an interactive work session with a staff leadership team including library branch managers and department heads was held on April 5, 2016.
  • Possible Strategic Plan. To be determined by the Library Board after completion of the surveys and direct public and staff inputs.

How is the Fairfax County Public Library Board of Trustees involved?

The Library Board of Trustees has authority over the project and is actively managing the project through its planning committee.

Project Roadmap.

Library Board of Trustees Public Engagement Initiative project "roadmap"

Schedule

The project kicked off in December 2015. It is scheduled for completion in summer or fall 2016. Since the intention of the project is to maximize public and staff input within the defined scope and budget, the schedule is somewhat adjustable so there can be sufficient advance notice to obtain public input. Furthermore, with the option for the library board to have a strategic plan prepared, the schedule is flexible. A draft schedule is displayed near the top of the Project Roadmap.

Current Update

May 2016

  • Surveys completed by May 31. Data analysis begins.

April 2016

  • Surveys begin online, by phone and in library branches.
  • Two community forums held April 12 and 14.
  • Focus groups and stakeholder meetings conducted.

March 2016

  • Outreach to public began with stakeholder meetings.
  • First community forum held March 19.

February 2016

  • Library launched information campaign about public engagement process.
  • CivicTechnologies worked with project planning committee to organize project; created project roadmap.

December 2015

  • Public Engagement Initiative officially launched.

 


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