Our Strategic Planning Process


    In an effort to realign Yakima Valley Libraries with our community’s needs, the Library Board of Trustees approved a staff recommendation to allocate funds in our 2023 budget to develop and implement a Community Needs Assessment and Strategic Plan.

    We started the process by posting a request for proposals and selecting two subject-matter experts to support and facilitate these initiatives. For the development of the Community Needs Assessment, Sonar Insights was chosen, and for the development of the Strategic Plan, we selected Co/Lab Capacity. See the list of project phases below for our process in developing the Library’s Five-Year Strategic Plan during the months of March – October 2023.


    • Phase I: Community Focus Groups (Completed)
      • We successfully completed our community focus groups across Yakima County. The focus groups, which were offered in both English and Spanish, were used to initiate dialogues across the Yakima Valley to help shape our Community Needs Assessment Survey.
    • Phase II: Community Needs Assessment Survey (Completed)
      • With Yakima Valley’s support, we received over 2,700 completed surveys! We surpassed our goal of 2,500 responses and gathered informative insights about our community’s needs from diverse perspectives.
      • If you are interested in reviewing more information about the focus groups and the results of the Community Needs Assessment, please visit the links below:

    YVL Community Needs Assessment Final Report

    Informe Final de la Evaluación de las Necesidades de la Comunidad

    • Phase III: Strategic Priorities and Goals Development (Completed)
      • Guided by input from the Community Needs Assessment, we hosted four community conversations to discuss four YVL service area priorities. Co/Lab Capacity facilitated in-person meetings at Toppenish Library, Sunnyside Library, and West Valley Library (each with a Spanish interpreter available) and one virtual conversation. We dialogued about the importance of the following community needs:
        • Safe & Welcoming Spaces
        • Community Partnerships
        • Opportunities for Youth
        • Technology Skills and Access
      • If you would like to learn more about these discussions, you may read the report here: Community Conversations Report.
    • PHASE IV: Strategic Plan Development (Completed)
      • The Community Conversations went really well, and we received reassuring feedback from our community, staff, and Board of Trustees that we were headed in the right direction. After receiving this confirmation, the Strategic Planning Committee worked with Co/Lab Capacity to finalize and share our strategic priorities and outcomes for 2024-2028 to our Board of Trustees.
      • We are excited to announce that on October 23, 2023, the Board of Trustees approved the Strategic Plan! The result is a tailored 2024-2028 Strategic Plan that will allow us to create meaningful impact for the Yakima County community for years to come.

    To view our Guiding Statements, the Plan at a Glance, and a PDF of the full Strategic Plan, click here.