Lyme Free Library Strategic Plan

2020 – 2025

This strategic plan was created under the direction of the Lyme Free Library’s Board of Trustees and Director, and as such, gives the community insight into their vision for how the Lyme Free Library can best serve the residents of The Town of Lyme.

The Lyme Free Library is proud of its success. By looking forward and anticipating future needs, it expects to remain successful, useful, and relevant.

The goal of the Lyme Free Library for the next five years is to maintain the high levels of offerings to which its patrons have become accustomed, as well as ensure that the offerings and facilities evolve to keep pace with changing needs and expectations. This strategic plan is intended to provide the guidance to ensure that decisions about future directions for the Lyme Free Library are made thoughtfully, with patron needs in mind.

The Lyme Free Library’s Strategic Plan sets the stage for what the library hopes to achieve during this five year planning cycle. The goals and objectives provide an outline to the specific strategies that the Library Board and staff will employ to achieve the vision.


  • GOAL 1

Prepare the library for the future amid new challenges due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) and similar viruses. In order to protect both the staff and patrons of the library, we must begin to prepare for the future health and safety of all who enter the library premises.


This plan includes installing hand sanitizing stations, offering disinfecting wipes at all computers, the disinfecting of all returned and Inter-library loan materials, planning for daily cleaning of the library and posting signage to alert patrons to the changes. In addition, we should strive to create a no touch bathroom by installing wall soap dispensers, an automatic paper towel dispenser and install motion sensor water faucets and an automatic toilet in the bathroom. This plan will be amended as we learn of new procedures, developments, and regulations concerning Coronavirus (COVID-19).

  • GOAL 2

Increasing accessibility to the library. Our current ramp and parking lot do not meet local building codes and are not ADA compliant. This creates public barriers to our facility.


Adapting our building design and entrance to address accessibility and meet local building codes and meet ADA regulations. Build a compliant ramp that meets all local building codes. Rebuild asphalt parking lot to ensure a level surface with an ADA compliant parking spot. Post signage notifying patrons of location of the accessible entrance.

  • GOAL 3

Continue to provide exceptional library services in an uncertain funding environment. For many years, the Lyme Free Library has operated successfully under stagnant financial conditions. There is no indication that tax funded budgets will increase substantially in the foreseeable future. Uncertainties at both the state and federal level suggest a continued period of fiscal restraint.


We will strive to provide opportunities to encourage donors to make a contribution the Library’s endowment and operating funds. We will encourage both annual donations and memorial donations. We will continue to increase the funding amount asked for via a school ballot referendum vote on a yearly basis. This will ensure that we receive at least the prior year’s funding each year. This referendum allows the library to request funds directly from The Town of Lyme taxpayers, as set forth in New York State Education Law 259.

The purpose of this strategic plan is to continue building on our strengths while addressing areas and opportunities for growth, expansion, and improvement.

The library board, director, and staff will work to implement the action steps of this long range plan over the next five years. While some goals may be more easily achieved, others will require significant time, planning, and resources. The library board will work with the library director to prioritize goals and action steps based on community need and resources available.

The strategic plan is meant to provide direction; it is not a path “written in stone.” If an unanticipated opportunity presents itself, the critical question is not, “Does it fit into our strategic plan?” but rather, “Does it fit with our mission, vision, and values?”

Adopted: June 2020

Lyme Free Library Unattended Children Policy

The following are rules and regulations of the Lyme Free Library.  These are effective July 13, 2015 as adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Lyme Free Library.

Serving children is an important role for the Lyme Free Library. Children and their families are encouraged to take full advantage of the opportunities the Library provides for reading, learning and growing. The safety and well-being of all ages and the maintenance of an atmosphere conducive to library use are priorities.

  1. Children in the Library are the responsibility of their parents/caregivers. Library staff cannot take responsibility for the care of children visiting the Library.
  2. Children aged 12 or younger must be accompanied and closely supervised by a responsible person (parent, caregiver, or mature adolescent, age 16 years or older.)  Also, if the young child is attending a library program, the responsible parent/caregiver is required to remain in the library throughout the program.
  3.  Children over the age of 12 may use the Library unattended provided they are able to maintain proper Library behavior. All children must behave in accordance with the posted “Library Rules of Behavior” policy. Library staff will intervene, and if necessary, contact parents and/or law enforcement if children behave inappropriately. Any patrons violating any Library policy will be given a warning. If the behavior continues, the child will be asked to leave the library, and/ or may lose Library privileges, at the discretion of the Library Director or his/her designee.
  4. Parents and caregivers must be aware of the Library’s opening and closing times and make suitable arrangements to meet and/or transport their children. If a child is unaccompanied in the Library at closing time, every effort will be made to assist the child in calling his/her parent or caregiver. If at closing time the child has been abandoned or if a child’s ride home has not materialized, Library staff members will wait with the child for 15 minutes.  Authorities will then be notified.  If this happens a second time, library privileges may be revoked.

Occasionally the Library may need to close without advance notice as a result of an emergency. Families must discuss a plan of action for children to take in the event of an unexpected Library closure, though every attempt will be made to assist the child to contact a parent/caregiver.