Strategic Plan -- 2014

Strategic Plan

Since its founding in 1875, the private, non-profit Providence Public Library (PPL) has served the City of Providence and State of Rhode Island, growing and innovating in response to the changing needs of its community, often recognized regionally and nationally for providing award-winning public library services.

Same Mission, New World

While adaptation is a constant for all libraries, the past decade has particularly challenged public libraries everywhere to rethink -- not only how to stay abreast of community needs, but also how to stay relevant as a valued, cornerstone learning institution. The technology revolution has transformed reality for libraries, dictating both how they function as well as library services. It has had a significant impact on who uses libraries and what they turn to libraries for. It has not altered the necessity for a vibrant public library at the center of its community.

Securing Our Place

With this strategic plan, PPL seeks to stay true to its mission as a premiere free, personal learning place for all Rhode Islanders, while also transforming to reflect not only where libraries are today, but more critically where we want to be over the next decade.

Our Goals

The following concepts will guide our transformation:

PPL is a learning place where...

  • you experience, create and accomplish
  • you access content and technology, expert help and high-impact, high-quality programs
  • you connect and work with like-minded people
  • you're the driver

PPL is a learning place that...

  • adapts and innovates to meet your changing needs
  • translates the best of America's free public libraries to the digital age

The Think Again plan will focus on these strategies to achieve our goals:

  1. Develop new learning initiatives ("Learning Ventures")
  2. Grow PPL as a network; identify new program partners
  3. Increase users & engagement through collaborations
  4. Enhance staff roles & create a robust volunteer program
  5. Become a place that represents transformation & innovation
  6. Enhance our digital library
  7. Broaden & deepen our support base

Strategies & Outcomes



With formal strategic planning complete, PPL will commence its three-year implementation plan in fall 2014. Some of the initial activities include:

FALL 2014

  • Partnership with Roger Williams University on a needs assessment
  • New Technology Director & Digital Producer begin
  • Annual Special Collections Exhibition
  • Spring Exhibition Planning
  • Volunteer Cultivation
  • Downcity Cultural Series/Salons
  • Teen Specialist/Educator


  • New Development Director & Grant Writer
  • Annual Updike Typography Exhibition
  • Digitization Plan Underway
  • Pop-up Teen Space
  • Downcity Cultural Programming
  • Unicorn Exhibition
  • Exhibition Space & 150 Empire Street Space Redesign


  • Rhode Island Music Exhibition
  • Master Space Planning
  • Teen & Downcity Programming Continue
  • Develop Common Core Connections


  • Continue Master Space Plan
  • Identify Retail/Development Opportunities
  • Partnership with PASA - Accreditation Model
  • Expanded Digitization Projects

FALL 2015

  • Master Plan Implementation Preparation
  • Next Major Exhibition Planning
  • Continue Teen & Downcity Programming


Strategic Plan