Library Services and Technology Act Five Year Plan 2012 - 2017

Introduction | Mission

Stakeholders Involvement | Communication Procedures | Monitoring Procedures

Library of Virginia Vision:

The Library of Virginia will inspire learning, ignite imagination, create possibilities, encourage understanding, and engage Virginia's past to empower its future.


As the Commonwealth's library and archives, the Library of Virginia is a trusted educational institution. We acquire, preserve, and promote access to unique collections of Virginia’s history and culture and advance the development of library and records management services statewide.

History of the Library of Virginia
The Library of Virginia was created by the General Assembly in 1823 to organize, care for, and manage the state's growing collection of books and official records — many of which date back to the early colonial period. The Library occupied rooms on the third floor of the Capitol in Richmond until 1895, when Virginia erected a new Library and office building on the eastern side of Capitol Square. Outgrowing this location, the Library in 1940 moved to a handsome, new art-deco building on Capitol Street, adjacent to City Hall and the Executive Mansion. In 1997, the Library opened to the public at 800 East Broad Street, its fourth home since its founding.

The Library houses the most comprehensive collection of materials on Virginia government, history, and culture available anywhere. The collections illustrate the rich and varied past of the commonwealth, documenting the lives of Virginians whose deeds are known to all, as well as those of ordinary citizens whose accomplishments are the foundation of our heritage. The Library's printed, manuscript, map, and photographic collections attract researchers from across the country and the world, while the Library's Web sites provide collection-based content and access to our digital collections to those at great distances who are not able to travel to Richmond. In addition to managing and preserving its collections, the Library supplies research and reference assistance to state officials, provides consulting services to state and local government agencies and to Virginia's public libraries, administers numerous federal, state, and local grant programs, publishes award-winning books on Virginia history, provides educational programs and resources on Virginia history and culture for students and teachers, and offers the public a wide array of exhibitions, lectures, book-signings, and other programs.

In addition to the main Library building, the Library manages the State Records Center in Henrico County where inactive, non-permanent records of state agencies and local governments are housed.

Needs Assessment
Key Recommendations from the 2008-2012 Plan Evaluation:

  1. It is recommended that the Library of Virginia continue its efforts to engage the library community in ongoing dialog about the Find It Virginia statewide electronic resources.  It is further recommended that the State Library directly engage citizens in a task-oriented approach to analyze user needs.
  2. It is recommended that the Library of Virginia continue its efforts to innovate and to explore alternative formats for continuing education.
  3. It is recommended that the Library of Virginia study its communications with libraries with the goal of improving awareness of LSTA funded resources and services.  It is further recommended that the Library of Virginia assist public libraries and schools as appropriate to extend those communications to library users.
  4. It is recommended that the Library of Virginia create an assessment plan that outlines clear outputs (and outcomes as appropriate) for major multi-year projects and their uses to inform decision making, to demonstrate the impact of the LSTA Program and to monitor trends.
  5. The Library of Virginia may wish to consider creating and maintaining a Web page or pages that outline the body of projects that make up the LSTA Program along with news and status of major activities within each project, e.g. the mobile application for Find It Virginia.

During the evaluation focus groups, a few additional questions were asked to gather end user feedback.  E-books and digital content were mentioned most frequently.  Library staff feedback was gathered using an online survey with training and continuing education as a very high priority.

In addition, the Library of Virginia staff focused on alignment with IMLS strategic plan, the Library of Virginia strategic plan, benchmarks such as Planning for Library Excellence and emerging benchmarks such as the Edge Initiative.

Goal 1
Foster the development of the evolving neighborhood/ community library as a center for lifelong learning and civic engagement.

Objective 1
Engage young children, parents, caregivers, and professionals to build a nation of readers, children enter school ready to read.

Integrate Library of Virginia activities with those of the Commonwealth of Virginia and National Goals of Reading Readiness.

Participate in the Virginia Early Childhood Advisory Committee by gathering and sharing information to align projects and activities with state goals and to foster partnerships.

Engage young children, parents, caregivers with daily early literacy activities

Annually maintain, update and evaluate the website.

Purchase, according to State and LSTA Guidelines, Tumblebooks Library for use statewide as it is an integral part of the website.

Promote website and resources both in print and electronically.

By fall 2015, create a Spanish version of

Provide resources and program support for public libraries to build a nation of readers.

Provide Early Literacy Activities Centers to public libraries and continue to support the project by coordinating replacements and new centers as needed.

Design an Early Literacy Activity Center online resource for librarians and others to provide guidance to parents on using the center with their children, as well as for other librarians to replicate the centers for their own communities. 

Annually provide materials both online and print to public libraries to carry out a summer reading program and winter reading program for young children and their families.

By fall 2014, provide an online winter reading program manual for use by public libraries to host a winter reading program. 

Create partnerships with targeted agencies and organizations to better serve special populations.

Engage professionals to acquire skills to build a nation of readers.

Annually, provide training workshops on research and the importance of play to librarians.  Success of these training sessions will be measured by surveys completed by workshop participants. 

By fall 2013 analyze Head Start reading readiness goals and Commonwealth of Virginia’s reading readiness goals and how they align with the Every Child Ready to Read. Create a webpage, preferably on the Library of Virginia’s website, that clarifies the relationships between the various organizations.

By spring 2013 create a four week online course which demonstrates the alignment with national and state reading readiness guidelines and teaches how to partner with other organizations. Offer this course annually

By summer 2013 create and present a four week online course which provides training for reaching out to Spanish speaking communities and how to conduct bilingual story times.

By spring 2014 create and present a four week online course which provides training in providing library service to populations with special needs, for example, Autism Spectrum Disorders.

By spring 2015, develop a pilot coaching program for Youth Services Librarians.

By spring 2016, Create a manual for coaching that will address purpose, selection process of coaches, activities, and training of coaches.

By summer 2017, provide the opportunity for any Youth Services Librarians to work with a coach. 

Annually project will be continually monitored, evaluated, and adjustments made. 

Objective 2 Empower public libraries to support learning for children and teens both in school and out of school

Annually create a summer reading program for children and teens in Virginia.

Annually provide an online tracking system to public libraries to host a reading program as well as provide supporting promotional materials.

Annually provide training to facilitate Virginia’s public libraries sponsoring a summer reading program.
By fall 2014, provide online homework help to the public, private and home school children and teens in Virginia.

Partner with the Virginia Department of Education and other organizations and agencies to create educational tools and resources.

Continue to provide online resources (for example, Tumblebooks Library and Find It Virginia) for use by the public to assist with educational tasks and assignments.  Annually evaluate the content.

Annually provide training and/or support materials as well as promotional materials for the public libraries to share with their communities on how to use homework help resources.

Partner with the Virginia Partnership for Out-Of-School Time and other agencies to determine ways that public libraries may help develop quality out of school time for Virginia children.

By spring 2014, provide training and/or support materials for developing community partnerships.

By spring 2015, provide training and/or support materials for designing quality afterschool time. 

Goal 2
Facilitate access to information and the discovery of knowledge and cultural heritage.

Objective1: Create the possibility for Virginians to be able to discover the full-range of library services through both websites and mobile technology


Assist public libraries to provide a refreshed webpage with current information using PLINKIT.

 Work with PLINKIT consortium to upgrade the software platform.

Provide a Find It Virginia mobile application that will provide access to the full range of library services on any mobile device. 

Provide Evergreen, an affordable open source integrated library system, to public libraries in Virginia.


By fall of 2013 evaluate the on-going usage of Evergreen ILS.

Annually, provide an opportunity for interested libraries to migrate to Evergreen.

By spring 2014, have a group of trainers available in all areas of the state.

Objective 2:  Encourage lifelong learners and readers through access to digital e-Books, newspaper and magazine articles, peer reviewed journals and other electronic published content through Find It Virginia.


Annually evaluate the usefulness of the content of and access to Find It Virginia (FIVA)

By fall 2013, develop and implement a plan to increase library staff knowledge and use of the Find It VA resources.

By fall 2013, all Find It VA customers will have both basic statewide resources and local content available within the Find It Virginia mobile app.

By fall 2014, develop marketing plan and tool kit to help libraries market Find It Virginia.

By fall 2014, work with vendors to incorporate very short video clips with helpful tips to improve user experience.

By fall 2014, use crowd sourcing to evaluate content.

Monitor e-Book marketplace.  Seek opportunities for partnerships and collaboration.

Objective 3: Provide opportunities for broader, more open sharing of digital cultural heritage materials and resources, fostering engagement with users of all ages and different disciplines.


Continue to monitor and test application and web-based developments to facilitate the dissemination of digital content and provide users the ability to participate in description and sharing of content.


  • Annually identify new collections to be preserved and digital content made available based on need and high interest.
  • By fall 2014, test and implement crowdsourcing for transcription or description of digital content.
  • Develop project-based initiatives that incorporate streamlined workflows that allow for the broader dissemination of metadata and digital content through various applications such as Flickr, The Commons, Historypin, the Internet Archive, and open data projects.
  • By fall 2014, test, develop and launch a statewide portal for the sharing of digital cultural heritage materials from public libraries, local historical societies, and other local cultural heritage organizations. Including tools to increase the value of these resources to the educational community.
  • By fall 2015, implement a unified user interface for Virginia Memory, allowing users to search across digital content, as well as supporting research collection materials.

Support life long learning by designing and implementing programs that encourage interaction and engagement with the subject matter.


  • Collaborate with local life long learning organizations such as OSHER to develop programming highlighting the resources of the library (2013-2017)
  • Conduct a comprehensive state-wide evaluation of educators, schools of education, curriculum designers, etc. to determine how the Library’s resources might be best organized and deployed.
  • Continue to promote and host authors writing books about Virginia’s history and culture.
  • By fall 2014, pilot a progressive series of training programs aimed at novice and experienced genealogical researchers
  • By fall 2015, launch a state-wide genealogical training initiative
  • Expand programming such as panel discussions, film screenings, exhibit tours, family events, etc. that highlight the library’s collections and exhibition series
  • Produce and post podcasts and vodcasts of the library’s public programming
  • Design digital components of the Library’s onsite exhibitions to provide engaging content for patrons unable to get to the Library.

Flora of Virginia (in collaboration with the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens) (2014)
To Be Sold: Virginia and the American Slave Trade (in collaboration with the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia) (2015)
The Emancipation Proclamation (2015-2016)
Religious Freedom (in collaboration with the Council for America’s First Freedom) (2016-2017)

Goal 3
Support the training and development of proactive library leadership and skilled staff to meet the rapidly changing environment.

Objective 1:  Provide a comprehensive on-line training program for trustees that can be used both individually and in a group setting.

By fall 2012, develop and provide access to online educational modules to instruct public library trustees on specific aspects of library governance

Annually, review existing modules and add new subject modules as needed.

Develop discussion guides/case studies to enhance learning in a group setting.

Objective 2:  Provide training to prepare a library workforce with 21st. century skills.

Provide a new director training institute every other year.

By fall 2013, increased participation (affiliations, enrollments and course completions) in WebJunction Virginia

Annually sponsor or co-sponsor a workshop in each of the six VLA geographic regions. Topics will be determined by a continuing education assessment and by evaluations done after each workshop.

Work with the Virginia Library Association to provide learning opportunities to develop library leadership state-wide.

By fall 2013, host another train the trainer session for technology trainers to ensure awareness of the latest trends.

Annually identify, purchase and incorporate most current items for the technology petting zoos.

Develop E-Reader Zoos that can be used to train the public

Goal 4
Foster innovation to improve libraries through trend watching, pilot projects, research and evaluation and promising practices.

Objective 1: Develop and evaluate in cooperation with public libraries pilot projects that will result in better engagement with the community.


By fall 2013, Support small business owners by partnering with a pubic library and community organization to develop and evaluate pilot projects.

Facilitate access to E-Government Services by developing partnerships at the state level to assist local libraries and agencies to work together.  Determine best practices and disseminate findings.

By spring 2014, Support lifelong learning for seniors by partnering with a pubic library and community organization to develop and evaluate pilot projects.

By fall 2014, develop a series of tools for public libraries to use in seeking community engagement in development of strategic (5 year) plans.

Objective 2: Develop tools to evaluate library programs and services.

Evaluate the services that the Library of Virginia offers.


By fall 2012, identify key areas for program/project evaluation.

By fall 2013, develop a process for evaluating one program/project’s outcome.

By fall 2014, complete review of the process and make adjustments.

Annually, develop process for at least one new key area.

Evaluate the effectiveness of early childhood programs and services provided by the Library of Virginia as well as Virginia’s public libraries.


By fall 2013, identify strategies for measuring literacy development.  This will be done with the assistance of Virginia Early Childhood Advisory Committee, as well as other organizations yet to be identified. 

By fall 2014, determine the best strategy for measuring literacy development in a library setting.

By fall 2015, provide training, information and resources to implement data gathering and evaluation.

By fall 2015, develop a model to measure public libraries effectiveness in civic engagement.

Evaluation Plan
An objective in the plan is to develop new tools to evaluate library programs and services.  Staff of the Library of Virginia has been working on two of the Measuring Success work groups.  The Library of Virginia is very interested in working with IMLS to develop evaluation tools that may be replicated in other states.

Stakeholder Involvement

Information from end users was gathered in the evaluation focus groups.  Library staff was surveyed.  As part of the ongoing evaluation and mid-course corrections, the Library of Virginia will use crowdsourcing and café questions with both end users and library staff.

Communications and Public Availability

LSTA Five Year Plan will be available on the Library of Virginia website and the Virginia Public Library Extranet.  Articles about LSTA project progress and evaluation will be included in the Library of Virginia Newsletter.  LVA staff will offer presentations at area library group meetings and at the annual conference of the Virginia Library Association. Public Information Office of the Library of Virginia will work with LSTA project managers to increase the visibility of use of and results of LSTA funds.


Each LSTA project manager will provide quarterly reports of status of project including any mid course corrections.  Each LSTA project manager will develop a final report that meets the SPR requirements.

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