Long Range Plan


Seven years ago, when we first opened our doors, we had one goal in mind.  Be a library.  We had a rudimentary road map: In Service to Iowa: Public Library Standards, and a lot of help from fellow librarians and friends in our community and around the state.  Looking back now, we have reached that goal.  We are a Library. We have books on the shelves and we check out 3,000 of them a year. We have a drop box and regular hours. We have an active Book Club and weekly Story Time. Last summer we enrolled over 100 kids in the Summer Reading program. We have added e-Books and Large Print books, Audio Books and DVDs.   But now, it is time to ask ourselves what comes next?   What kind of library do we want to be? 


With the big question in front of us we set out to create a road map for the next five years.  We knew that we wanted this plan to not only grow the library, but to help grow a Community.  We are, after all, the Swisher Community Library.   To start, we gathered a group of twenty community members to help us find an answer.  It was a group that reflected the community we serve; our youngest member was eleven and our oldest member was over 70.  We included elected officials and local business people.  Teenagers and young parents.  Super patrons and people who never use the library.  Residents of Swisher, Shueyville and unincorporated Johnson County were all included.   In two separate meetings in the fall of 2015 this group brainstormed about what an ideal Swisher Community would look like and how the Library could help us all reach that goal.   The Library Board then followed those meetings with a focused discussion of which of their ideas we could achieve in the next five years given our facilities, staffing and budget.  What follows is a result of those discussions.




Our Mission


Books are Just the Beginning

Books and the love of reading  will always be at the heart of what we do, but that is just the start of what we do and what we can do for the Swisher Community.  We have had a great beginning, our challenge is to continue to grow from a place to check out books into a library that is a focal point in our community.






Our Values

  • The Library believes quality library and information resources should be readily available and equally accessible to all.

  • The Library believes reading is the gateway to knowledge and to life-long learning.

  • The Library celebrates creativity and the joy of reading.

  • The Library respects the right to privacy and encourages people to explore new ideas.

  • The Library strives to help build the Swisher Community, including the cities of Swisher, Shueyville, and the surrounding unincorporated areas, by providing a place for the free exchange of ideas and experiences.









Our Goals and Objectives



 Know  Your Community

Our Community group expressed a strong desire to enhance the sense of place within our community, bringing together the cities of Swisher, Shueyville and the rural residents of NW Johnson County.  They set out the following goals and ways our library can help reach these goals in the next five years:


  • Residents will have a shared sense of identity in our community.

    • By spring of 2017, create 3 programs per year to be held at the Shueyville community center.

    • Staff and volunteers will create a local history program to be held in the fall of 2017, and include local history information on the website by December of 2107.

    • Mail a flyer to all residents for Summer Reading programs. In May of 2017, flyers will be mailed to all residents advertising the Summer Reading Programs.

  • Newcomers will be welcomed into the Community.

    • Work with the cities (Swisher and Shueyville) to develop a community information packet. Distribute packets beginning May of 2017.

    • In the winter of 2018, staff will investigate a “welcome book” program for new families and new babies, including funding sources. 

    • Develop a “Your library and You” hand-out piece.  Have ready for Swisher Fun Days, August, 2016.

  • Residents will have one central on-line place to go for accurate up-to date information

    •  By January, 2017, link the cities and the library websites in an intuitive way.

    • Add a volunteer clearing house tab to the library’s website in the spring of 2017. Work with other community groups to add volunteer opportunities

    • By December, 2016, the Board will create and pass a clear policy for linking other community websites to the library’s webpage.



Visit a Comfortable Place


Our Community group expressed the need for a central gathering space where everyone can gather both for meetings and programs, as well as in informal groups.  They set out the following goals and ways our library can help reach these goals in the next five years:


  • Community groups have an adequate facility for community activities and meetings

    • Adapt the library garage space as a multipurpose room. Complete by July 2019.

    • Coordinate programs with the Shueyville Community Center. First programs in spring of 2017 and on-going from there.

  • Seniors have a comfortable, safe place to gather

    • Expand hours to include 2 weekday mornings in July, 2018.

    • Offer a “Coffee and Cards” program to encourage informal gatherings, beginning fall of 2018.

  • Teens have a comfortable, safe place to gather

    • Add a bike rack and outdoor seating in the summer of 2016.

    • Complete teen room by March, 2016.

  • Young families have comfortable, safe place to gather

    • Add “A Thousand Books Before Kindergarten” programming. Target opening in August 2016 to coincide with back to school.

    • Staff will explore possibilities for young parent programming.  Three target programs will be presented in the winter of 2018.




 Express Creativity/Satisfy Curiosity


Participants saw a strong desire in the community to learn, to create and to share with others in the community. They set out the following goals and ways our library can help reach these goals in the next five years:


  • Provide opportunities for residents to express creativity, to share knowledge and skills.

    • Explore low cost programming opportunities provided by outside organizations.  Book four programs by July 2017. Expand to eight programs by January, 2020.

    • Beginning fall of 2106, ask community volunteers to lead programs in their areas of interest. Have eight programs in place by January, 2021

    • In the spring of 2016, staff will create 4 programs to coordinate with the Farmer’s Market.

  • Residents will have the resources to explore topics of personal interest and lifelong learning.

    • Increase materials budget by 30% by July, 2019.

    • In the fall of 2017, staff will explore adding other collection resources including digital collections and equipment.

    • In the fall of 2018, staff will explore adding maker spaces/maker collections, including funding options.




Our Thanks


We want to thank the following people who helped us draw up our plan for the next five years.  With good humor and grace, they led the way from planning for the plan to the final edit.  Each of you has our deepest gratitude and we hope to continue to work with you all over the next five years as we grow the Swisher Community.


Our Consultant/Facilitator

Becky Heil, SE District Consultant

Iowa Library Services



Our Community Partners



Marlene Burns                                                  Maureen Shannahan

Calvin Chadima                                                Rod Sullivan, County Supervisor

Jodie Chadima                                                   Alison Taylor

Nicole Eden                                                       Annette Taylor

Jimmie Ann Gause                                            Chris Taylor, Mayor, City of Swisher

Elysia Goebel                                                     Karen Vondracek

Ann Hoefer                                                         Lori Wiles

Rebecca Neuendorf                                          Colin Winborn



Our Library Board


                Mary Bryan                                                         Vanessa Taylor

                Karen Millard                                                     Lori Winborn

                Cindy Shelangoski



Our Library Staff


            Laura Hoover, Director

            Rachael Worley

            Amanda Vega



Approved 2/22/16