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302 N. Main, Victoria, Texas

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Strategic Planning Process

In developing this strategic plan Victoria Public Library followed a process developed by Sandra Nelson outlined in Strategic Planning for Results (American Library Association, 2008). This process involved a community planning committee, the VPL staff and board, and the review of a strategic planning survey made available to all VPL customers.

Two key assumptions in this process are that:

  • Libraries must respond to community needs.
  • Community needs change over time.

The Community Planning Committee was comprised of 20 individuals from a broad cross-section of Victoria. Included were community leaders, parents, retirees, and students. This committee met three times guided by an under-standing that Victoria is a vibrant, growing community, rich in cultural heritage and the fine arts and a vision of the future in which all residents have access to the resources needed to live healthy, productive lives, and contribute to a rewarding community life.


The committee:

  • Identified community needs that must be addressed to reach the ideal future for Victoria.
  • Developed an understanding of the current conditions in the library.
  • Developed an understanding of the 18 Service Responses Victoria Public Library could undertake to respond to these needs.
  • Recommended a set of priority focus Service Responses for the 2011-2016 Plan of Service to the Board.
Board and staff held meetings to review and respond to the committee’s recommendations and a final set of service responses was approved by the library advisory board.
Summary of Survey Results

A planning survey was made available to library patrons from January 24 – March 31, 2011. 327 survey responses were received.

63% of respondents used the library more than 6 times per year.
24% of respondents used the library less than 6 times per year.
13% of respondents had not used the library in the last 2 years.

The services accessed most frequently by survey respondents were adult books (56.6%) and librarian answering questions (53%).

The most common additional services or activities suggested by respondents were:

  • more evening programs including adult book groups, resume and computer classes and toddler programs
  • more programs for all ages
  • e-books
  • another library site or mobile service

70% of respondents felt that the friendliness of staff was excellent
and 66% felt that information received and questions answered were excellent.

The three service aspects identified by survey respondents as needing most improvement were:

  • organization of library materials
  • access to bestsellers and high interest materials
  • overall physical environment of the library

The most common comments about service aspects were that the library layout was confusing, the children’s picture books and the DVD areas were messy and it was difficult to find items, bathrooms needed improvements.

Many library services were rated as essential. Those services ranked as most essential by survey respondents were reference and general information service (82% essential), pleasure reading, viewing and listening to materials (80% essential) and computers with internet access and software (78% essential).

83% of respondents were satisfied with the hours that the library is open; 16% were not satisfied.
Comments or suggestions for changes to the hours included the addition of Sunday hours and the need for a north side branch.

At the end of the survey respondents were asked if they had any additional comments. The most common responses included that the staff are very helpful and well trained, they enjoyed the genealogy programs, were concerned about young children and noise, request for a north side library and an overall feeling that the library is an excellent resource for the community.


Victoria Public Library 302 N. Main Victoria, TX 77901 361.485.3302 Copyright City of Victoria All Rights Reserved