The Dover Free Library’s mission is to welcome community members of all ages and backgrounds to seek out lifelong learning experiences through reading, learning, thinking, technology, and discussion in a comfortable and friendly environment.

Strategic Plan


Background: The Dover Free Library (DFL) is one of the preeminent small-town libraries in
“It is a wonderful resource in an era when mediocrity seems to be the norm.”
“Offers culture, the best spot in town.”

One of the strengths of the library is the constant attention that is paid to improving its presence in, and resources for, the Dover community. The Strategic Plan (Plan) is a tool that will help focus the efforts of the library in improving its strength in these areas over the upcoming years.

Mission Statement: The Dover Free Library’s mission is to welcome community members of all
ages and backgrounds to seek out lifelong learning experiences through reading, learning,
thinking, technology, and discussion in a comfortable and friendly environment.

Staff positions are supplemented with patron volunteers.
Process: The inputs for the 2020 Plan consisted of a detailed questionnaire handed out to library patrons and the Dover community in general; a public forum held on October 19, 2019; Board
member visits to other small-town libraries in southern Vermont; and numerous discussions
among the members of the library Board of Trustees and the staff of the DFL. The 2020 Plan was
finalized, but significant implementation was curtailed due to the Covid pandemic. This current
plan is a revision of the 2020 plan and accounts for any items that were implemented in the last
two years

Overview of Plan: As a result of the process, seven main areas were identified as being the principal centers of focus for the Plan. These areas include the following:

  • Partnerships
  • Promotion and Public Awareness
  • Programs, Classes, and Lectures
  • Clubs
  • Environment
  • Materials and Resources
  • Website and Technology

Near and far term strategic actions within each of these areas that will be investigated for possible implementation are provided in the following sections of this document. Note that thereis a separate Plan for the Children’s Library.


  • Develop more partnerships with entities such as the Town of Dover, seniors, schools, businesses, organizations, and the adjacent day care
  • Increase the use of the Community Room as a meeting place for organizations, clubs, town subcommittees, etc.

Promotion and Public Awareness

  • Increase the use of social media to promote the library and events (current social media include
    Facebook, Whofish, and Front Porch Forum) – consider directly e-mailing patrons regarding

  • Ensure the library website gets connected to the town website thus facilitating posting library

  • Continue to maintain the Little Free Library that was constructed and installed under the sponsorship of the library. The Little Free Library is located near Dot’s restaurant in West Dover.Programs, Classes and Lectures
  • Continue with successful programs such as the annual Santa visit, the dessert social, arts and cultural events, movie nights, and visits from the elementary school
  • Develop a series of guest lecturers and classes – possible topics might include hiking, fish and game, maple sugaring, stone walls, local farmers, technical assistance, Mount Snow instructors/rescue, Dover historical society, foraging, CPR, Facebook use, flower arranging, crafts
    in general, cooking, etc.

  • Classes for seniors – advance directives, stroke presentation, virtual dementia tour
  • Organize field trips and outdoor activities such as hikes, snowshoe walks, museum visits
  • Clubs
  • Investigate the community’s desire for clubs that could possibly be hosted by the library –knitting, hiking, board games, cooking, travel, literary, etc. – use sign-up sheets at the front desk to determine interest

Environment / Outdoor

  • Maintain the current sitting areas adjacent to the library. Install outdoor outlets to facilitate portable electronics charging. Investigate the possibility of locating a gazebo next to the library
  • Install a bike rack near the front entrance

    Entrance Hallway:

  • Work with the town to make the entrance hallway more inviting – paint or paneling, chairs, bench, table, flowers, new ceiling, new lighting, paint or move the cubbyhole shelving, add or lower the coat hooks for children
  • Ensure that the hallway library bulletin board is monitored and kept up-to-date – add a sign above this bulletin board indicating it is for the library [the other bulletin boards belong to the town]
  • Add brochures and maps of interest to patrons – e.g., trail maps

Main Library:

  • Look at the possibility of reestablishing a gallery in the Vermont room for art, crafts, poetry, etc.
  • reate a suggestion box for community input
  • Improve interior signage regarding proper use of the computers
  • Paint/repair shelving next to copier/printer
  • Rearrange sections to improve accessibility and functionality – Young Adult to community room, 92 section (biography, autobiography, memoir) to the main room, water cooler to café area

Materials and Resources

  • Investigate if more passes to museums, etc. are warranted
  • Improve the utility of DVD browsing and selection

Website and Technology

  • Keep abreast of new technologies that could be incorporated into the existing capabilities of the library
  • Increase awareness of the technological resources available to the community
  • Continue to maintain and update the utility of the library website


    PARTNERSHIPS: Continuing with existing partnerships and create new partnerships with the school, community organizations and childcare.

    PROMOTION AND PUBLIC AWARENESS: Live stream the storytime program through our social media channels.


  • Continuing with After School programs and Storytime programs.
  • Creating new programs to bring in more children and teens to the library.
  • Create outdoor programs for the months when we can spend time outside.
  • Some ideas for different programs are nature programs, movies outside and children’s cooking classes.
  • Reach out to families that homeschooled to see how we can help them with material to help their cause.
  • Provide themed storytime programs through our social media channels.


  • The children’s librarian will review existing toys, puppets and independent activities to ensure they are all still in working order and safe for all ages and buy some new and fresh materials.
  • Purchase a round little table with stools for the children’s room so that the children have an area where they can sit and look through books.