Chicago Public Library 2010 is a starting point for building on the programs, services and collections that have been the hallmarks of the Library since its inception, while also addressing opportunities that have emerged as a result of process of internal and external interviews, analysis and discussion. Reinforcing strengths and reaching toward new areas of opportunity requires ongoing investment of both the public and private sectors. The plan is flexible, so as to ensure that it remains relevant in the future and has a renewed sense of purpose and public service.
In 1995, the Chicago Public Library unveiled its first strategic plan, designed to lead the Library into the new century. That plan focused on building and rebuilding both the physical and the human infrastructure of the Chicago Public Library. Significantly, the first act undertaken in developing the original plan was to establish the mission of the Chicago Public Library as a dynamic resource designed to ensure that all Chicagoans may read and learn freely through the resources of its public library. Since 1995 the City has experienced unprecedented new library construction and innovation in public library service, thanks to the implementation of the goals and objectives of the 1995 plan. Through the concerted efforts of Library personnel and Board of Directors, Mayor Richard M. Daley and the members of the Chicago City Council, the City built and opened 32 full-service neighborhood libraries in that time.
With additional assistance from the Chicago Public Library Foundation, public sector funding was leveraged to expand library service hours, implement state of the art technology in all libraries and introduce nationally acclaimed collections, services and programs that attract new and larger audiences to Chicago’s libraries each day. Recognizing that the Library’s most important asset is its dedicated personnel, one of the more significant and successful initiatives of the last 10 years has been the establishment of a broad-based professional development program to give Library personnel at all levels the training and professional growth necessary to sustain the Library’s high standards of public service.