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Farmington Community Library:
What We Stand For—Our Guiding Principles



Core Values

At its March, 2004 meeting, the Farmington Community Library Board of Trustees adopted the American Library Association's Statement on Core Values:

The library and information profession is enriched by the skills and knowledge of its individual members. Through their specialized training and experience, they contribute to the varied missions of their institutions and organizations. Over time, they have refined their services to meet the unique and ever changing needs of their communities. Despite the multiplicity of these skills and roles, librarians and information specialists hold the following values in common:
  • Connection of people to ideas
  • Assurance of free and open access to recorded knowledge, information, and creative works
  • Commitment to literacy and learning
  • Respect for the individuality and the diversity of all people
  • Freedom for all people to form, to hold, and to express their own beliefs
  • Preservation of the human record
  • Excellence in professional service to our communities
  • Formation of partnerships to advance these values

Interpretation

These values encompass many principles and beliefs that may have special meanings or require a different emphasis in each of the varied professional associations representing librarians and information professionals. The following is one interpretation, which may be adopted or revised by these organizations, based on their individual goals and priorities:

Connection of people to ideas. We guide the seeker in defining and refining the search; we foster intellectual inquiry; we nurture communication in all forms and formats.

Assurance of free and open access to recorded knowledge, information, and creative works. We recognize access to ideas across time and across cultures is fundamental to society and to civilization.

Commitment to literacy)1 and learning. We aid people to become independent lifelong learners by selecting and offering materials that support the differing needs of all learners, and that entertain and delight the human spirit.

Respect for the individuality and the diversity of all people. We honor each request without bias, and we meet it with the fullness of tools at our command. We respect the individual's need for privacy, confidentiality, aIld the right of access to library and information services and resources regardless of race, creed, national origin, age, ability, gender, or sexual orientation.

Freedom for all people to form, hold, and to express their own beliefs. All people have the right to seek, to know, and to find.

Preservation of the human record. The cultural memory of humankind and its many families, its stories, its expertise, its history, and its evolved wisdom must be preserved so it may illuminate the present and make the future possible.

Excellence in professional service to our communities. Our commitment requires integrity, competence, personal growth, effective stewardship, and service to our discipline as well as to our public.

Formation of partnerships to advance these values. We believe in the interdependence of libraries and librarians and advocate collaboration in all areas and between all types of library, knowing that collections and services evolve successfully through such collaboration.

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Farmington Community Library's Long-Term Goals

  • To provide a high standard of services which are user-oriented.

  • To fulfill patrons' informational and material needs, with referral to other agencies as appropriate.

  • To provide materials in a variety of formats which reflect community demand, use, and the library's own spatial limitations.

  • To make the collections readily accessible, easy-to-use, and representative of all viewpoints.

  • To incorporate in the design of library services basic concepts from other disciplines, such as education, management, and science.

  • To promote library services, programs, and materials in the community.

  • To participate in cooperative informational networks or systems for efficient, economical library services.

  • To provide adequate staff development to meet the service goals of the library.

  • To recruit and retain a volunteer corps, whose assignments are meaningful to the library's operation.

  • To cooperate with schools, other community groups, and agencies through direct articipation, support materials, or use of the meeting room facilities.

  • To develop a diversified public relations program which will increase library usage consistent with the resource available and project a positive image in the community.

  • To maintain all facilities in good repair, with consideration given to necessary improvements, safety, accessibility for the physically challenged, and an aesthetically pleasing environment for the public and staff.

  • To direct management efforts toward efficiency in all library operations to maximize return on the support tax base.

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Farmington Community Library's Mission Statement

The Library facilitates independent learning and encourages the love of reading from early childhood throughout one's lifetime. Information formats and service delivery will evolve as the community's demographics change and technology improves.

Our mission statement provides a philosophical framework for the services, collections, and programs offered by the Farmington Community Library. This statement was approved by the Library Board of Trustees in April, 2004.


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Farmington Community Library's Public Service Values

One of our Library's strengths has always been identified as our approach to public service. The following values have been identified as the public service philosophy of our Library. These values have been printed on a card given to every employee. These values are non-negotiable; they reinforce our Mission Statement.

  • Satisfy the Patron's Needs.
  • Make Informed Decisions.
  • Commit to Providing a High Quality of Service.
  • Respond with Accurate, Timely Information.
  • Be Friendly, Courteous and Respectful.
  • Keep a Positive Attitude.
  • Goal: Every person using the Library leaves satisfied.


Every Employee Is Essential to Our Success!


Our Quality Policy

The Quality Policy of the Farmington Community Library is "To Be The Best." This policy requires that every employee demonstrate excellent public service values to meet patrons' needs.

The delivery of service should promote the Library as an institution which has guidelines designed to facilitate services to the public rather than an institution that promulgates rigid rules. To reinforce and encourage staff to embrace our Public Service approach, we discuss the Public Service Values at our Annual June In-Service and review our Expected Public Service Behaviors at each employee's annual performance appraisal meeting.

The Library adapted two forms from our June 2006 Zingtrain In-Service session as tools for “Effectively Handling Complaints” and recognizing staff with the “Extra Mile Award.”

Board Adopted May 14, 1992
Amended and approved by the Management Advisory Ccommittee January 2007


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Farmington Community Library's Service Roles


Overarching Role: Lifelong Learning

The Farmington Community Library's Management Advisory Committee reviewed recommended services roles from two American Library Association publications: Planning & Role Setting for Public Libraries, (1987) and Planning for Results: A Public Library Transformation Process (1998). The staff modified these ALA roles to best serve our community's needs.

No public library has sufficient budget, staff or collection to meet all of the prescribed roles. The Farmington Community Library endorses the following roles as priorities in terms of budget allocation for staffing and materials, collection development policies, and program planning


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Primary Service Roles:
Popular and Current Topics / Titles

Residents desire access to current, high-demand, high-interest materials in various formats. Popular materials of new fiction, cultural or social trends will be ordered in a quantity sufficient to meet public demand.


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Children

The Library environment and programs will support the parents' role as the best and first teacher of their child. Materials, technologies, and interactive elements will contribute to early childhood literacy and the development of the skills necessary to begin formal schooling.


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Information Assistance

Staff members provide timely, accurate, and useful information to answer questions on a broad array of topics related to work, school and personal life. Special collections will be developed to meet community interests. Library programs, classes, and individual assistance will help the public in learning to use information technology independently and in evaluating the validity of resources.


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Secondary Services Roles:
Community Commons

The Library environment helps address the need for people to meet and interact with others in their community and to participate in public discourse about community issues. With an inviting atmosphere, the Library is a gathering place that encourages seniors, students, telecommuters, and caregivers with young children to meet others for human interaction. In addition to the informal settings, both buildings offer meeting rooms for rent to groups. The Main Library has small group study rooms and a Caf.


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Cultural Awareness

As evidenced by its Statement on Diversity, the Library helps satisfy the desire of community residents to gain an understanding of their own cultural heritage and the cultural heritage of others. The Library Director and Staff Members work with the Multicultural Multiracial Community Council, the Bilingual Department of the Farmington Public Schools, and the Oakland Literacy Council to develop programs that will reach residents, new to the country and with limited English-speaking skills. Print and electronic resources support this role.


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Business and Career Information

The Main Library has special collections on Business, Grants, Entrepreneurship, and Careers to address information needs related to business, new small businesses, and nonprofit organizations. Both the Main Library and the Branch have Career Collections which allow for the exploration of various jobs, college and university programs, and preparation for entrance and professional examinations. These special collections support both the residential and business communities.


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Local History and Genealogy

Community residents who wish to know and better understand personal or community heritage will appreciate the development of the Heritage Collection at the Main Library. Preservation of primary source local history documents and photographs is of key importance. Digitization of unique local resources in the collection will allow remote access to documents. Collaboration with volunteers from local historical and genealogical societies will ensure success in this role.


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