Chicago Public Library Releases 2015-2017 Strategy

Chicago Public Library is proud to announce a new strategic vision for the 80-branch system.  This plan is intended to be an evolving roadmap for CPL’s next three years.

Coming on the heels of major announcements such as the Internet-to-Go program, the launch of a new website and smartphone apps, and the expansion of digital services and lendable technology, the Chicago Public Library’s 2015-2017 Strategy: Building the Library of the Future outlines the strategic priorities and goals of CPL service to Chicagoans. The strategy will serve as the foundation for the Library’s work plan as CPL continues to enhance its programs, services, and collection. It will be powered by the efforts of the Library’s dedicated staff, the passions of its loyal patrons, and support from City leadership and the Chicago Public Library Foundation.

“Like parks, schools and playgrounds, our libraries are critical anchors in communities across Chicago. CPL is a global leader in providing innovative services and learning opportunities to residents of all ages, and this Strategy will build upon this success for years to come,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

In the next three years, CPL’s timeless mission will remain unchanged: welcoming and supporting all people in their enjoyment of reading and pursuit of lifelong learning, and striving to serve them well and effectively by providing equal access to information, ideas and knowledge through books, programs and other resources. But CPL will also respond to the current and evolving needs of patrons by focusing on three key initiatives: nurturing learning, supporting economic advancement and strengthening communities.

“Throughout its 140-year history, CPL has evolved and found innovative ways to serve the City. This strategy will guide our next evolution,” said Library Commissioner Brian Bannon. “It is a roadmap for the future as we continue building the model 21st century urban library.”

Chicago Public Library performed an internal mission check, identified areas of intended impact and conducted a quantitative and qualitative analysis of programs and services through surveys and focus groups in order to create the 2015-2017 Strategy. In addition, the Library reached out to local, national, and global library experts and other civic organizations to gauge opportunities and initiatives external to Chicago Public Library.

To develop these priorities, and the full strategic document, Chicago Public Library and Chicago Public Library Foundation were supported on a pro bono basis by Civic Consulting Alliance, McKinsey & Company, Bain & Company, and The Greatest Good; and Leo Burnett.

The full 2015-2017 Strategy is attached or can be viewed on Chicago Public Library’s website,

Since 1873, the Chicago Public Library (CPL) has encouraged lifelong learning by welcoming all people and offering equal access to information, entertainment and knowledge through innovative services and programs, as well as cutting-edge technology. Through its 80 locations, the Library provides free access to a rich collection of materials, both physical and digital, and presents the highest quality author discussions, exhibits and programs for children, teens and adults. CPL recently received the Social Innovator Award from Chicago Innovation Awards; won a National Medal for Library Services from the Institute for Museum and Library Services and was ranked number one in the U.S. and third in the world by an international study of major urban libraries conducted by the Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf in Germany. For more information, visit or call the Chicago Public Library at (312) 747-4050.