Board members of the Daviess County Public Library are hammering out the details of a new strategic plan to serve as a guide for the organization during the next two years.

Library Director Erin Waller said Friday that while the library’s previous strategic plan ran for five years before expiring at the end of 2020, the library will focus on the next two years this time around.

“We just don’t feel like with our current knowledge base, sort of not knowing what is going to happen with in-person events, that we could commit to doing a five-year plan,” she said.

Waller said while the previous strategic plan expired at the close of 2020, the new plan is a little behind schedule due to impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The library board will utilize surveys previously distributed to both the community and among staff members as it finalizes details of the new plan.

One topic discussed during a recent board meeting was the issue of communication among the organization’s 58 staff members and the possibility of adding a human resources representative to its ranks.

Michelle Drake, president of the library’s board of directors, said she noticed that issues relating to staff training and communication were consistently mentioned in the staff survey results.

“I think that you have addressed staff training and better staff communication, which was all over the comments,” Drake said to Waller during the meeting. “Clearly there has to be some improvement there because I think too many people mentioned either being left out of the loop or just a lack of communication and that has to get better.”

Drake said she also noticed staff comments that mentioned implementing a human resources department at the library.

Waller said the library does have an employee that handles the responsibilities of an HR department, including orienting new staff members as well as questions about benefits and employee law.

As far as employee complaints and conflicts, Waller said she has always had an open-door policy and library employees are aware of this.

“Anytime anybody has ever wanted to sit down with me and have a conversation about their manager, about their job, about anything, I have made time every single time to do that,” she said.

Waller said she instituted a grievance policy a few years ago, and it has only been used once since that time.

While the idea of adding an HR representative to library staff can be discussed, Waller said Friday that, “There are no plans for anything at this point.”

The Daviess County Public Library Board of Directors will next meet via WebEx at 5 p.m. on March 17.

Nathan Havenner, Messenger-Inquirer, nhavenner@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-228-2837

Nathan Havenner, Messenger-Inquirer, nhavenner@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-228-2837

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