Skip to Main Content

Office of Commonwealth Libraries Five Year Plan

This guide outlines the Office of Commonwealth Libraries Five Year Plan from 2023-2027.

Goal 3: Libraries integral to the lifelong educational ecosystem

GOAL 3: Libraries Integral to the Lifelong Educational Ecosystem

Leverage the responsibilities libraries share with educational partners to create a seamless and supportive fabric of learning.

Need Addressed:

There is a need for diverse and adequate talent and a robust education pipeline for the library workforce, continuing education especially in relation to new service areas and programs, and leadership support as people assume new and more responsible roles within the libraries. It is critical to plan for succession planning and be able to use existing educational structures.

Project Areas

Project Area 3.1 Elevating Libraries

Coordinate with education providers to elevate libraries and library workforce as valuable, professional contributors by building expertise, practice, and recognition of good work.

Activity Areas
  • Engage with post-secondary education providers to ensure development of a more diverse library worker/librarian pipeline.
    • Potential activities: Vocational training programs, targeted recruitment efforts, MLIS tuition reimbursement programs.
  • Support communities of practice that link library practitioners across the state and build the perception of professionalism within librarians and within the educational ecosystem.
    • Potential activities: Project funding for school librarians, academic librarians, special librarians and public librarians to connect with their educational or economic partners to address shared needs; recognition program for excellence in library services; dissemination of promising practices.

Target Audience: Library staff, volunteers and/or trustees

Evaluation: Librarians consistently included in local regional and statewide efforts and planning. Librarians and libraries in leadership positions in educational agencies and initiatives.

Timeline: Work will progress over the five years of the plan.


  • Year 1: agreements and plans with library education institutions, evaluation of current state of librarian field, parameters for project funding for librariansJune-Aug 2024
  • Year 2: Pilot recruitment, reimbursement programs, evaluate, implement project funding for librarian partnership projectsJune-Aug 2025
  • Year 3: Summit for library educators and education, evaluate. June-Aug 2026
  • Year 4: sustainable funding for tuition program in place. June-Aug 2027

Project Area 3.2 Literacy Leadership

Radically redefine libraries’ role in literacy for all ages through partnerships and coordinated services.

  • Support libraries engaged in meeting literacy and social-emotional learning needs of all learners.
  • Potential activities: Digital Navigator training and programs, digital literacy staff development and project funding, adult and family literacy in targeted topic areas (civic/social, finance, health, information, basic, etc.), activities for emerging readers and learners, and STEM and Maker activities.

Target Audience: People with limited functional literacy or informational skills; Unemployed; Families

Evaluation:  State data-collection efforts indicate a positive change in the communities in which these programs have been instituted

Timeline: Work will progress over the five years of the plan.


  • Year 1: Implement digital navigator program, conduct literacy programs, evaluate. June-Aug 2024
  • Year 2: Partner to assess and target literacy needs. June-Aug 2025
  • Year 3: Evaluate impact of initiatives and recurring programs. June-Aug 2026
  • Year 4: Share outcomes through stories and public events. June-Aug 2027

Project Area 3.3 Professional Development

Ensure the continuity of statewide library leadership and expand access to high-quality and relevant professional growth for a library workforce that reflects the communities we serve.

Activity Areas
  • Develop leadership and training of the library workforce
    • Potential activities: New director orientation, online learning management system with robust instructional content, statewide leadership development 

Target Audience: Library staff, volunteers and/or trustees

Evaluation:  Library leadership is a sought-after role. Library leaders work together to plan and produce future-oriented initiatives.  Library directors report they feel confident in their roles and the retention of directors increases. Case can be made for increasing the pay of librarians and library staff.

Timeline: Work will progress over the five years of the plan.


    • Year 1: Redesign existing programs, establish targets and outcomes. June-Aug 2024
    • Year 2: Conduct programs, evaluate, refine/revise programs. June-Aug 2025
    • Year 3: Review and refine content on LMS, connect to other needs. June-Aug 2026
    • Year 4: Assess needs of library field for professional development, revise and refresh training programsJune-Aug 2027