In 2004, in response to social changes and increasing demands of the reading public, the Taipei Public Library set up a committee to compile the “Taipei Public Library Strategic Plan 2005-2010” for the purpose of focusing on future development and management. The plan was devised to promote reading among the public in an effective way and to implement a series of life-long learning programs, disseminate information via the media, preserve the local cultural heritage and enhance leisure and cultural activities sponsored by the library.
After six years of hard work, the Taipei Public Library has implemented many innovative plans providing for innovative services, abundant reading resources, lively promotional activities, and pleasant reading environments to foster the habit of reading among the Taipei public. Taipei has repeatedly been chosen as the best city in Taiwan by Tian-xia Magazine, and it was rated the nation’s best in overall reading competitiveness by Vision Magazine in 2010. Reading brings a distinctive charm to Taipei City.
In recent years, Taipei society has undergone numerous transformations. The city’s low birth rate and the ever-growing number of seniors and new immigrants have changed the demographics, compelling the library to offer a more diversified range of services. With significant advances in communication technology and internet services, the appearance of Google, IM software, and social networking sites such as Facebook has changed the face of marketing and the provision of services. Moreover, in light of the economic recession, the public has made an increasing number of demands on the public library for life-time learning resources.
For all the above changes and in keeping with the library’s motto of “a library for all”, in March 2010 the Taipei Public Library formed a strategic planning committee for the purpose of conducting a comprehensive evaluation and examination of the library’s present management strategy. After a series of studies and discussions, the suggestions and advice of experts and scholars, an analysis of the service environment and a SWOT analysis of the library, the strategic plan was revised, while adhering to original framework, to the “Taipei Public Library Strategic Plan for 2011-2015.” The plan offers high-quality services to meet future public demands, to develop a more diversified range of service resources, and to improve service quality, so that the Taipei public will have a more comfortable and enjoyable reading environment.
Ⅱ: The Planning Process
1. Forming the executive committee The Director of the Library serves as the coordinator of the committee. A total of eight meetings have been held since March 2010.
2. Analysis of the present state of the library Evaluate and analyze the present strengths (S), weaknesses (W), opportunities (O) and threats (T) for the reference of strategic planning.
3. Analysis of the environment of Taipei City Evaluate and analyze the projected effects of future development trends of Taipei City that may impact the public’s need for information: demographics, road construction, urban development, revenue and expenditures, publications, education, and information technology.
4. Analysis of professional trends in library science and librarianship In response to the rapid development of information technology and dynamic social changes, an analysis of trends in library and information management with respect to the following six aspects is intended to ensure effective future planning and high quality library services: public demands and expectations of library functions, the specific tasks and role of the library, operations and management, technical services, reader services, reading environment and professional skills of librarians.
5. Soliciting opinions On May 5, 2010 the Taipei Public Library requested librarians to offer suggestions concerning the strategic plan and enlist the suggestions and opinions of administrators on the current status of library affairs and plans for future development. On June 25, at the first consultative meeting devoted to the development of library affairs, the consultants were asked to give their professional advice on future prospects, tasks, values, and objectives of the library as an important frame of reference for revising the strategic plan.
1.Vision To build up a lively city with a public who enjoys reading and is enthusiastic about learning
2.Mission To create a warm, welcoming, efficient and innovative public library of high quality, which serves as a community learning center and meets the learning and personal growth demands of the general public, through a dedicated team of professional librarians, updated and abundant resources, a comfortable environment and conveniently accessible facilities
(1) To increase the value of the library’s diversified and rich collections (2) To meet new service demands of readers of all ages (3) To provide readers with new methods for more convenient access to a full range of resources (4) To build up a dedicated, positive, innovative and professional team (5) To utilize new ideas and technologies to offer a broader range of new and innovative services
4.Objectives, strategies, implementation plans and committees
Objective 1: The Library aims to offer collections of good quality and sufficient quantity to meet the diverse needs of its readers.
Strategy 1: Enrich library collections by increasing the number and types of books and by appealing more broadly to readers’ demands.
Plan of Action 1. Endeavor to secure sufficient book purchasing funds annually; increase the number and types of books on a continuous basis; and collect information of annual domestic publications for acquisition purposes. 2. Endeavor to secure government subsidies to enrich the library’s collections. 3. Develop and distribute the collections evenly in accord with the characteristics and needs of individual branches, readers and the specific community served. 4. Actively acquire books from other institutions and private organizations to enrich the Library’s collections.
Strategy 2: Build versatile collections with in-depth content.
Plan of Action 1. Increase the annual purchasing funds for audio and video materials to enrich the collection and meet readers’ demands. 2. Acquire a greater range of digital audio and video materials and offer the materials online. 3. Acquire materials for online audio and video databases and strengthen available service and search functions. 4. Enrich the electronic resources collection by acquiring various types of materials, such as electronic journals, electronic books and electronic databases. 5. Emphasize the developmental trends of electronic resources and increase the proportion of funding for electronic resources. 6. Acquire diverse materials in accord with the characteristics of individual branches and the reading demands of special reader groups. 7. Acquire rare books and manuscripts on a continuous basis. 8. Actively acquire materials on local history and the life and culture of Taipei. 9. Enrich foreign-language collections and of materials from Southeast Asian countries to meet the reading demands of foreign residents and new immigrants.
Strategy 3: Enrich the collections in accord with the development strategy of establishing a research-oriented and metropolitan public library.
Plan of Action 1. Review the development strategy for library collections and continue to improve the depth and breadth of the collections. 2. Invite experts and scholars from various fields to oversee the drafting of a development strategy for collections in a metropolitan library.
Plan of Action 1. Acquire more audio books, large-print books, Braille books and print-Braille books. 2. Produce recordings of documentary films and art and literary activities. 3. Endeavor to license audio books for the electronic databases dedicated to visually-impaired patrons and readers with learning disabilities. 4. Enrich the website with recordings of lectures, workshops and promotional activities. 5. Acquire foreign-language books and electronic resources as well as materials providing local information in foreign languages for foreign residents. 6. Offer incentives to disadvantaged readers to facilitate their use of library information services so as to reduce the digital divide. 7. Develop the collection of electronic resources dedicated to visually-impaired patrons on a continuous basis.
Strategy 5: Create mechanisms to update the library collections.
Plan of Action 1. Organize activities and create sites such as new-book displays, book fairs and reading events to better market the Library and increase circulation. 2. Conduct surveys on reader requests and the effective use of the collections. 3. Routinely weed out collection materials.
Objective 2: The Library aims to develop a knowledgeable professional staff and create a favorable image in offering quality service.
Strategy 1: Enhance the professional competence and expertise of the staff.
Plan of Action 1. Set up annual training courses and professional workshops. 2. Encourage staff members to participate in learning and training courses. 3. Recommend core and recent studies devoted to library and information science and launch projects to enhance the professional expertise of the staff. 4. Establish and enrich teaching resource databases via long-distance learning centers. 5. Organize reading groups for staff members. 6. Organize an orientation workshop for new staff members. 7. Provide incentives for research, publications and innovative projects.
Strategy 2: Focus on staffing allocations and strengthen the service effectiveness provided by the staff.
Plan of Action 1. Modify and implement operations in accord with the organization’s decentralized design. 2. Review staffing, human resource allocations and modifications. 3. Outsource operational and technical tasks. 4. Offer internship opportunities to college and university students with library-related majors. 5. Strengthen the substitute staff system.
Strategy 3: Forge an image of good service.
Plan of Action 1. Organize etiquette courses for staff members. 2. Organize events to honor staff members who provide service with courtesy. 3. Organize events to honor outstanding staff members. 4. Launch a program to test telephone service etiquette. 5. Launch and implement an identification program for staff and service personnel.
Strategy 4: Create channels for internal communication, interaction and experience sharing.
Plan of Action 1. Organize operations workshops for staff members. 2. Promote interaction and communication among staff members. 3. Strengthen the effectiveness of the operations liaison committee.
Objective 3: The Library aims to create a digital learning environment and a mobile library in light of technological advances.
Strategy 1: Make use of new technologies to strengthen services and streamline operational processes.
Plan of Action 1. Provide circulation services for audio-visual and electronic materials via mobile devices and mobile communication technology. 2. Provide information about activities and library tours via the Internet or mobile devices. 3. Increase the number of applications of RFID technology. 4. Build an automated library-storage center. 5. Expand the automated circulation service system. 6. Create an automated fee-management system.
Strategy 2: Establish a sound network infrastructure to improve network performance and transfer security.
Plan of Action 1. Apply new technologies most suitable for the library network to keep up with new developments. 2. Establish various network backup systems to reduce the impact of network disruptions. 3. Establish comprehensive anti-virus and safeguarding network security systems to ensure the safety of databases.
Strategy 3: Provide a complete and convenient electronic resources platform.
Plan of Action 1. Promote the electronic resources platform to increase overall utilization. 2. Strengthen the functions of the electronic resources platform.
Strategy 4: Create digital learning-service materials.
Plan of Action 1. Build an e-learning platform for readers. 2. Create digital teaching materials for library instruction. 3. Create audio and video teaching materials for story-telling, organizing activities and event experience sharing.
Objective 4: The Library aims to offer services to readers of all ages and backgrounds.
Strategy 1: Outline reading-service strategies and establish a service mode.
Plan of Action 1. Outline a full range of reading-service strategies for readers of all ages. 2. Outline development strategies for various services and service standards.
Strategy 2: Enhance the reading capability of and cultivate good reading habits in children.
Plan of Action 1. Expand the service scope of Bookstart, the reading activity established for infants and young children and connect Bookstart with the Teacher Lin Story-Telling activity. 2. Launch various activities to promote reading and to strengthen the effect of the “Good Read for All” event. 3. Continue to organize summer and winter reading events for children and various reading activities. 4. Organize various Chinese-language competitions to enhance students’ capabilities in speaking, reading and writing.
Strategy 3: Enhance the reading and self-learning capabilities of young adult readers and work to encourage a lifelong reading habit in young adult readers.
Plan of Action 1. Offer various reading courses and materials in Chinese and foreign languages to young adults to encourage diverse readings. 2. Collaborate with schools and universities to organize curriculum-related reading events which encourage young adult readers to better utilize the library. 3. Create a designated reading area for young adult readers.
Strategy 4: Strengthen services to senior citizens in response to an aging society.
Plan of Action 1. Offer a variety of customized services to senior citizens. 2. Launch courses to meet the demands of senior citizens so as to help elderly readers to age gracefully. 3. Establish integrated information centers and expand service points to offer information to senior citizens. 4. Plan story-telling or story-listening events for senior citizens. 5. Utilize human resources and expertise offered by senior citizens to launch peer-learning programs, thereby inviting elderly readers to render service to their communities.
Strategy 5: Integrate lifelong-learning resources and organize various learning activities.
Plan of Action 1. Offer lifelong-learning resources via print publications and websites. 2. Continue to organize workshops to enhance the lifelong-learning capabilities of the general public. 3. Organize lectures on various topics. 4. Integrate schools, community organizations, educational institutions and enterprises to create an extensive lifelong-learning network.
Strategy 6: Meet the reading and information retrieval needs of new immigrants.
Plan of Action 1. Collaborate with related institutions to organize various learning programs to help foreign residents enhance their capabilities in using the Chinese language and finding information and using related social resources. 2. Encourage new immigrants to participate in various reading activities.
Objective 5: The Library aims to create a barrier-free reading and learning environment (including software, hardware, and use of skills).
Strategy 1: Improve the accessibility and facilities of a barrier-free environment.
Plan of Action 1. Offer barrier-free facilities and space to children, the elderly and mentally / physically -disabled patrons. 2. Install more barrier-free elevators in older premises. 3. Improve the restroom facilitiesfor the Disabled in all branches. 4. Maintain the accessibility of “barrier-free” websites.
Strategy 2: Strengthen the services for readers with special needs.
Plan of Action 1. Organize, independently or jointly with other social institutions, events suitable for readers with special needs. 2. Offer related training or experience programs for staff members to enable them to better understand the needs of mentally/physically-disabled patrons and improve service quality. 3. Endeavor to acquire an increased range of social welfare resources for readers with special needs and offer them more incentives and library information services to help improve their social adaptability and competitiveness.
Strategy 3: Improve readers’ access to library resources and services.
Plan of Action 1. Improve the usability of remote access to digital library resources. 2. Improve the book reserving, dispatching and delivery process. 3. Launch an online renewal service. 4. Review and improve the content and process of online services on a continuous basis.
Strategy 4: Create a bilingual environment to make it easier for foreign residents to utilize library resources.
Plan of Action 1. Add bilingual labels and signs to new spaces. 2. Continue to set up and maintain bilingual signs.
Strategy 5: Eliminate the digital divide and increase readers’ information literacy.
Plan of Action 1. Organize website resource usage and search courses and teach readers how to check the accuracy of information. 2. Organize basic computer courses to teach readers how to access information via computers. 3. Create various materials for library instruction and the use of resources on different topics.
Objective 6: The Library aims to employ a variety of strategies to promote, market and establish its image.
Strategy 1: Design a new visual identification system to establish a distinctive image.
Plan of Action 1. Re-design the visual identification system. 2. Ask the public to submit proposals for the staff.
Strategy 2: Organize various events and activities to attract readers to the library.
Plan of Action 1. Organize various events such as film exhibitions, lectures, workshops and reading activities related to Chinese and Western festivals and holidays and a library week to attract more readers to the library. 2. Organize a wide range of activities for readers of all ages and backgrounds. 3. Create more in-depth subject matter for themed events to attract readers with a broad range of interest profiles.
Strategy 3: Establish effective publicity channels to strengthen the marketing outreach of the library.
Plan of Action 1. Market the library through social-networking communities. 2. Enhance the rate of e-newspaper subscriptions and offer an RSS subscription service. 3. Cooperate with schools and institutions and actively distribute event and service information to attract potential readers. 4. Issue press releases and interview notices and hold press conferences to increase media exposure.
Strategy 4: Create a comfortable and welcoming reading environment to attract more people to enter the library.
Plan of Action 1. Improve facilities inside and outside library premises to offer safe and comfortable reading areas. 2. Modify the facility’s standard regulations to meet new requirements of a modernized library.
Objective 7: The Library aims to expand collaboration with domestic and international libraries to enrich its reading resources and increase the Library’s exposure.
Strategy 1: Strengthen communication and collaboration with domestic and international libraries.
Plan of Action 1. Launch visiting programs for staff members in collaboration with other libraries. 2. Provide interlibrary loan and document delivery services. 3. Cooperate with international libraries in the exchange of resources and in providing other services to enrich the collections and increase cultural communication. 4. Adopt the international bibliographic data format for the Library’s collections to be in conformity with global bibliographic databases. 5. Join international professional organizations and participate in related activities
Strategy 2: Cooperate with domestic and international libraries to promote library services and activities.
Plan of Action 1. Organize related activities jointly with libraries in other cities to increase service effectiveness. 2. Organize activities to promote reading in cooperation with institutions from the international community.
Objective 8: The Library aims to offer more effective professional services by integrating the organization and related service mechanisms and by establishing more service points.
Strategy 1: Review current operations to improve organizational and service effectiveness.
Plan of Action 1. Collect domestic and international service-related information to review organizational performance. 2. Review the current operations performance assessment system.
Strategy 2: Encourage the private sector to participate in library management.
Plan of Action 1. Establish a system of donors, donations and sponsors to provide opportunities for private institutions to participate in library management. 2. Effectively recruit and allocate volunteers for library services.
Strategy 3: Establish more effective service points.
Plan of Action 1. Build a new Main Library and develop research collections. 2. Adjust service categories so as to better meet the demands of individual communities and expand the scope of services. 3. Amend the regulations governing the establishment of new branches.
Strategy 4: Utilize social resources to expand services to diverse readers.
Plan of Action 1. Strengthen cooperation with other institutions and effectively use resources to promote library services and organize various activities. 2. Establish a human resources database and allocate related professionals to cooperate in the promotion of reading. 3. Work with schools to promote library activities and services.
Main Library：No. 125, Sec. 2, Jianguo S. Rd., Taipei City, Taiwan, R.O.C. 10659
Telephone：886-2-2755-2823 (Detailed list) Fax：886-2-2703-3545
For complaints and suggestions on administrative innovations, please contact (02) 2755-3067.
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