Strategic Plan

The Strategic Planning Process

During the summer of 2013, it was determined that a third Strategic Plan for the Canal Fulton Public Library was needed to guide the library into the future. A survey was conducted during the summer of 2014. Survey results were shared along with pertinent census data of the community. A Planning Committee that included library department heads and community stakeholders helped to identify the most important and various roles the library should play in the future to best meet the needs of the community. State Library of Ohio Consultant Evan Struble facilitated a focus group in November 2014. During that session 13 questions were asked that addressed topics including library communications, materials, quality of services and resources, and the future needs of the community. Afterword, responses were sorted and translated into “Service Responses” that the community’s public library would be capable of satisfying. The final task of the Planning Committee was to define the most important Service Responses from the list that they felt the Canal Fulton Public Library should focus on during the next 5 year period.

The Service Responses
The Planning Committee chose the following Service Responses as being most important for the Canal Fulton Public Library to focus on over the next 5 years:

  • Stimulate Imagination: materials, services and programs to enhance leisure time.
  • Satisfy Curiosity: resources and programs to explore topics of interest and lifelong learning.
  • Create Young Readers: children from birth to age five will have programs and services designed to ensure that they will enter school ready to learn to read, write and listen.
  • Make Informed Decisions: resources to help users make decisions.
  • Visit A Comfortable Place: residents will have safe and welcoming physical places to meet and interact with others or sit quietly and read and will have open accessible virtual spaces that support social networking.

The Plan

Once the Service Responses were chosen, it was the duty of library department heads and the library director to write the actual strategic plan. Library department heads were asked to formulate goals and objectives that addressed the chosen service responses. The library department heads and library director met in many sessions to address the ways in which their respective departments, and the library as a whole, could address the needs of the community.

The third Strategic Plan for the Canal Fulton Public Library will cover the time period January 2015 through the end of December 2019. At the beginning of each calendar year the plan will be reviewed and objectives assigned to the appropriate departments/staff members for implementation during the year. During the year 2019, the completed Strategic Plan will be evaluated and the task of writing a new plan will be undertaken.

The Canal Fulton Public Library is a school district library dedicated to creating a library that works for all. We have a deep sense of responsibility to administer the library for the benefit of our stakeholders: customers, patrons, employees, donors, service providers, groups, local governments, and the communities and environment that make up our district. We are grateful to our many readers, authors, supporters, and friends of the library who consider themselves to be part of the CFPL community.

Adoption of the Plan

A final draft of the strategic plan was adopted at the Board meeting on 12/09/2015. The members of the Canal Fulton Public Library Board of Trustees are:

Mr. Bob Richmond, President (term expires 12-31-2016)
Mr. Dean Crawford, Vice President (term expires 12-31-2018)
Mr. Jim Pryor (term expires 12-31-2019)
Mr. Jim Westbrooks (term expires 12-31-2017)
Ms. Becky Murgatroyd (term expires 12-31-2015)
Ms. Barbara Forrester (term expires 12-31-2021)
Ms. Michelle Studer (term expires 12-31-2020)

Canal Fulton Public Library


Mission Statement

To serve educational, cultural & social needs of our communities by providing access to materials, information technology, and services.


The vision of the Canal Fulton Public Library is rooted in our unique past, while being focused on the ever changing needs of the communities we serve.

Approved by the CFPL Board of Trustees February 11, 2015.


Description of the Canal Fulton Public Library 2014

The library is located in an historic building that was built in the 1870’s, with twentieth century additions on three floors, totaling 11,360 square feet. The Canal Fulton Public Library (CFPL) has been serving customers since 1937. It is a school district public library in northeastern Ohio, approximately 20 miles from Canton. Its service population is 13,328, in the Northwest Local School District that includes Canal Fulton and Lawrence Township in Stark County, Clinton and a portion of New Franklin in Summit County, and portions of Chippewa and Baughman Townships in Wayne County. The Ohio & Erie Canalway National Heritage Area includes much of the district. The library has 10,963 library cardholders, and a staff of 12 full time and 8 part-time staff who offer children, teen, and adult programs. The library is a member of the Serving Every Ohioan (SEO) Consortium that uses Sirsi Symphony ILS. The library has a collection of 66,438 print materials, 194 print subscriptions, 5,833 videos, 2,297 downloadable videos, access to 403,182 e-books, and 85 databases. The CFPL had a 2014 circulation of 211,955 and a budget of $995,673. This included:

Funding Source 2014
Public Library Fund $491,316
General Property Tax – Real Estate $407,491
Property Tax Allocation $66,424
Patron Fines and Lost Item Income $18,539
Total Operating Revenue $995,679

The CFPL at the corner of E. Market and E. High Streets


Description of Canal Fulton

From the City of Canal Fulton website:

Today, Canal Fulton serves the surrounding rural area as an education, retail, and transportation center. Several industries are located in the City, but most of the residents commute to work outside the community. In the 1990’s, communities along the Ohio-Erie Canalway began working together to reconstruct the old canal towpath into a multi-use trail. Now with most of this trail completed in Cuyahoga, Summit, and Stark Counties, Canal Fulton has become a destination for cyclists, hikers, equestrian, and bird watchers throughout the region.

Tourism has become a major factor in Canal Fulton’s commercial life, with its many quaint shops lining Canal Street. Rides on the St. Helena III, one of only four working canal boats in Ohio, also draws tourists from across the state.

Canal Fulton remains a vigorous community and its new potential for growth is now just beginning.

Description of Lawrence Township

From the Lawrence Township website:

Located in Northeast Stark County, Ohio, and home to over 13,000 residents, with 8,000 residents living in the unincorporated area, Lawrence Township combines the advantages of township living with the convenience of an urban community.


Description of Clinton

From the Wikipedia entry about Clinton, OH:

Clinton is a village in Summit County, Ohio, United States. The population was 1,214 at the 2010 Census. It is part of the Akron Metropolitan Statistical Area.

From the Clinton Historical Society website:

“A CANAL TOWN AND PROUD OF IT!” That pretty well sums up this now quiet little village that owes its beginnings and character to the Ohio & Erie Canal. “One of the most historic communities in the Akron/Canton area” it is, as near as possible, an unmatched look into the past of the historic Canal Era.

One simply cannot stand in this village, today, much the same as it was one hundred and fifty plus years ago, and not have an overwhelming sensation of its storied past. Its heritage speaks of the canal from every shadow of the historic landscape. It tells how this community came into being because “a canal ran through it”; what previous generations dreamed of and what they achieved.

Though Clinton owes its early brawling boomtown character to the Ohio & Erie Canal, today, nestled among the foothills of the extreme southwestern tip of Summit County; it has a natural resource not found in many places… PEACEFULNESS!

Description of New Franklin

From the Wikipedia entry for New Franklin, OH:

The area, originally known as Franklin Township, was founded in 1817. New Franklin is a city located at the southern edge of Summit County, Ohio, United States, in the northeastern part of the state. It is bounded by Coventry Township, as well as the cities of Barberton and Norton to the north; by Chippewa Township, Wayne County; by Clinton to the southwest; by Green to the east; by Lawrence Township, Stark County to the south. The population was 14,227 according to the 2010 Census. New Franklin is part of the Akron Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Description of Baughman Township


Baughman Township is a small town in Ohio with 4,542 residents. It has low home values, average rent costs, and average unemployment levels. Its citizens generally have average education levels and average income levels.

Description of Chippewa Township


Chippewa Township is a suburb in Ohio with 10,189 residents. It has low home values, low rent costs, and average unemployment levels. Its citizens generally have average education levels and average income levels.

Description of the Ohio & Erie Canalway

From the Ohio & Erie Canalway website:

The Ohio & Erie Canalway is a National Heritage Area — designated by Congress in 1996 — to help preserve and celebrate the rails, trails, landscapes, towns and sites that grew up along the first 110 miles of the canal that helped Ohio and our nation grow.
Annually, more than 2.5 million Americans find their way to the iconic 81+ mile Towpath Trail running through the heart of the Canalway. The historic Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad and the nationally designated America’s Byway offer alternate Canalway travel options through the National Heritage Area.

Whether birding, hiking, bicycling or traveling by horseback, trail, rail or Byway — the cultural, historic, recreational and natural resources of the Ohio & Erie Canalway add quite a bit to the quality of life in the counties of Cuyahoga, Summit, Stark and Tuscarawas in Northeastern Ohio.


Canal Fulton Public Library
Strategic Plan 2015-2019


  1. Stimulate Imagination: Reading, Viewing, and Listening for Pleasure
    1. Maintain and grow access to a wide variety of materials, such as books, DVDs, CDs, eBooks, etc.
    2. Evaluate new formats and introduce them when there will be enough demand that they will be utilized, such as:
      1. Provide streaming services available, such as Hulu, etc.
      2. Provide streaming music services available, such as Spotify, Slacker, Pandora, etc.

C. Provide and promote an online outlet for reader’s advisory services to assist users to locate materials of interest such as links to read-a-like sites to find authors with similar writing styles.

D. Promote the E-mail alert and newsletters for receiving lists of latest titles. Each alert/newsletter should have at least 60% new titles.

E. Promote and encourage participation in the summer and winter reading clubs for all ages.

F. Provide easily accessible places to charge devices such as tablets and portable DVD’s.

G. Provide instruction in how to use the library.

2. Satisfy Curiosity: Lifelong Learning

A. Address interests of adults and seniors through programming such as cooking, crafts, and art.

B. Promote databases available and provide pathfinders/instruction in how to use them.

C. Provide entryway display case to display items created by local residents or items from personal collections.

D. Provide book displays on topics of interest to patrons of all ages.

E. Partner with local organizations and professionals to provide programs that demonstrate and showcase their available service. (Examples: Garden Club, photography with local photographer, Stark Parks, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Audubon Club, Wilderness Center, etc.)

F. Provide study rooms where patrons can study, tutor or be tutored with minimal distractions and noise.

3. Create Young Readers: Early Literacy

A. Continue to maintain and grow high quality children’s programming, including the summer and winter reading clubs.

B. Encourage kid-friendly policies and physical spaces that make kids feel welcome.

C. Continue to maintain and expand programs that help provide a safe place for children.

4. Make Informed Decisions: Health, Wealth, and Other Life Choices

A. Build a meeting room to provide space for educational programs for all ages.

B. Provide current materials for making informed decisions on health, finances, and other life choices.

C. Provide additional discussion groups centered on topics such as a cookbook club, needlework group, new book discussion group, and morning news discussion group.


5. Visit a Comfortable Place: Physical and Virtual Spaces

A. Provide excellent customer service to all patrons. Provide staff training on customer service focusing on how to use language, body language, and other methods to meet customer expectations.

B. Purchase comfortable chairs and place them strategically throughout the library.

C. Develop a more stimulating and interactive Children’s environment, including creative materials, better seating, signage and artwork.

D. Provide comfortable seating, rugs, shelves and displays in the Teen area.

E. Situate floor lamps in corners and darker areas of the library, such as at corners by the computer carrels.

F. Update the décor and add carpet to reduce noise levels, and to allow for patrons to sit on the floor and read if they desire.

G. Create attractive, readable and consistent signage throughout the building, which will allow patrons to effectively navigate their use of the building and its resources.

H. Build a handicapped accessible meeting room for CFPL Board meetings, library programs, presentations, “Maker Space,” school group study space, study/quiet space for tutoring or personal studying, and a meeting space for community organizations.

I. Maintain library parking lot spaces.

J. Rearrange the library to make more efficient use of space and services and make it more aesthetically pleasing.

K. Provide tables for patrons upon which they can charge and use their laptops (and other devices) at the same time.