Marshall County Memorial Library 2016-2026 Strategic and Facilities Plan

In early 2016, the Marshall County Memorial Library Board of Trustees along with the Library Director made a decision that a new and bold direction was needed for the Marshall County Memorial Library. Knowing that library staff and board members could not appropriately create a thorough and objective plan for the library, they agreed on the need for an outside expert to help create a 10 year strategic and facilities plan for the libraries in Marshall County.  The Library Foundation Board was also instrumental in this decision as they funded 83% of the cost of the study with Marshall County Government funding the balance of the study as a part of MCML’s FY17 budget. After a competitive bid process, both the Library Board of Trustees and the Library Foundation Board approved the hiring 720design, an architectural company in Dallas, Texas, specializing in library design analysis, and its principal Maureen Arndt.  The study is thorough and will assist the Board, Marshall County Commissioners and other county stakeholders with a direction to improve Library buildings and services.

This analysis was needed because the Library had not been thoroughly evaluated since the current Lewisburg building was built in the mid 1970’s and a needs assessment for the new Chapel Hill branch had not been done.  As a result of this study, the Board, Commissioners, and Marshall County leaders will have a greater understanding of user demands and Library needs.  It is apparent throughout this study that the citizens of Marshall County are passionate about their Library and view it as a community necessity across all demographics represented in our County.

The recommendations in this study as applied will continue to expand and enhance the quality of life that makes Marshall County a vital and growing rural community.  Our public schools and parks, including Henry Horton State Park and the Lewisburg Recreation Center, are a huge reason for our excellent quality of life.  When the results of this study are completed, the Library will play a larger role in the County’s economic, educational and quality of life successes.

This study would not have been possible without the help of numerous people. Therefore, I would like to thank Marshall County Mayor Joe Boyd Liggett, Lewisburg Mayor Jim Bingham, Chapel Hill Town Administrator Mark Graves, Lewisburg Economic Development Director Greg Lowe, Director of the Marshall County Joint Economic and Community Development Board Mike Wiles, the Marshall County Board of Commissioners, the Library Board of Trustees, the Library Foundation Board and the numerous individuals who participated in our focus groups and online survey.

Jennifer Pearson, Director
Marshall County Memorial Library