Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

February 8, 2013

Boyd County Library earns exemplary status

Staff report
The Independent

ASHLAND —  Boyd County Public Library learned this week that is has earned the Exemplary Level in the standards set by the Kentucky Public Library Association.

This is the highest rating a library in Kentucky can receive. Only five library districts have this distinction.

Standards provide a guide to excellence, and define the kind of public library services that should be available for Kentuckians. There are three Kentucky Public Library Standards:

‰Essential: a library that would be meeting the basic needs of the community

‰Enhanced: a library that is providing enhanced services

‰Exemplary: a library that exceeds expectations.

 Part of BCPL’s strategic plan was to attain Exemplary Status by 2013.

“This award represents many hours of hard work and planning by those who are dedicated to providing the best possible library system for the people of Boyd County,” said Debbie Johnson, president of the BCPL Board of Trustees. “Many thanks go to the staff … as well as to the past and present members of the board. This is a prime example of what we can accomplish when we focus on a goal and work together.”

The KPLA standards stress ongoing planning and evaluation in seven key service areas: governance and administration; human relations; collections; services; facilities; technology; and marketing/public relations.

BCPL Director Debbie Cosper said achieving exemplary status confirms what Boyd County residents already know: “We have a terrific library that offers so much.”

The designation shows Boyd County Public Library is a forward-thinking and responsive organization, Cosper said.

“It documents that the library has an engaged and informed board, provides well-trained and state-certified staff, and maintains and updates policies and procedures regularly,” she said. “It also means that the library provides a balanced collection that is current and informative, that the library is at the forefront in technology across the state, and that it offers a wide range of programming for all ages.”

According to the KPLA Standards Committee, the standards help maximize the library’s role in the community by focusing its resources.

“Planning is the keystone for a dynamic, evolving organization … The most effective tool for evaluating a library’s progress and defining goals for future development is a written plan,” according to the introduction to the Kentucky Public Library Standards: Direction and Service for the 21st Century.

Warren County Public Library also received exemplary status this year. Kenton County was the first, in 2011, followed by Boone and McCracken last year.