Long Range Plan


Heartland Libraries: the Heart of our Communities.

The Long Range Plan is an outline of the cooperative’s focus of activities for the next five years. The activities outlined in the Long Range Plan are supported by the Cooperative’s budget as described.

The major emphasis from Fiscal Year 2020 to Fiscal Year 2025 will be upon, 1) providing technology support for all Cooperative libraries; 2) providing courier service to member libraries

6 days per week; and 3) assisting all Cooperative libraries with their mission to provide the citizens of DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Highlands and Okeechobee Counties with quality, innovative library service. The Cooperative libraries’ roles in accomplishing the plan of service will be one of support utilizing Cooperative staff, employment agency staff, and/or member library staff.

The Heartland Library Cooperative assists its member libraries to address the following needs of its citizens:

  • Our libraries will provide current titles and best sellers to satisfy library users’ recreational reading needs. Library collections will support and stimulate the “pure and simple pleasure of reading”.
  • Our libraries will provide informational resources and assistance using educational tools including computers. The libraries will concentrate on providing supplemental materials rather than duplicate resources available in institutions such as South Florida Community College and other regional colleges and universities.
  • Our libraries will provide access to distance learning databases.
  • Our libraries will provide programs and materials dedicated to children, young adults, adults and seniors.
  • Our libraries will provide an extensive collection of circulating materials on a wide variety of topics in which the public has a sustained interest.
  • Our libraries will provide access to information in a variety of formats and will offer computer and Internet access.
  • Our libraries will encourage and facilitate the sharing of resources among the members in order to contribute toward equity and enrichment in information access to all.


The Cooperative staff and member library directors and/or library managers believe in a service philosophy for their patrons that demonstrate:

All customers are important

Libraries matter to the community

Pride in our home libraries, our library cooperative system, and in our service to our libraries and our patrons

Cooperative, pleasant, and respectful demeanor to all who come through our doors


Continue to provide “Pink Cart” collection of popular titles to all libraries. 

Continue cooperative circulation of library materials via courier system 6 visits per week to the member libraries. 

Review circulation policies as needed to provide best practices. 

Act as materials buying agent for member libraries.

Serve as a forum for information on issues of interest to member libraries. 

Coordinate research and development of new methods of service.


Provide public access internet workstations and wireless internet.

Continue to update and maintain the Heartland Library Cooperative web site.

Maintain and upgrade as necessary technology currently functioning in the member libraries.

Continue to subscribe to genealogy database, Heritage Quest.

Act as anchor institution for broadband initiatives by FHREDI and State Library.


Maintain consistent fines and fees schedule for all libraries.

Apply for grant funding, if available, for assistance in developing enhancements to current technology.

Encourage local support and donations to member libraries.


Maintain and replace cooperative vehicles as needed.

Replace outdated technology which provides internet service to the member libraries as needed. Upgrade hardware and software as technology improves.


Utilize Cooperative Information Technology Staff to maintain and upgrade technology.

Utilize staff to provide 6 days per week courier service to all member libraries.

Provide continuing education opportunities for all member staff.

Provide in-service training day for all staff.


Continue membership in Tampa Bay Library Consortium. 

Provide ILL access via OCLC to all cooperative members.

Provide consistent cataloging and authority control for shared database. 

Continue database “cleanup” for future inclusion of data in OCLC. 

Provide cooperative patrons with access to online resources.

Develop partnerships with community organizations.

Increase access to all library resources through participation in library networks.


Conduct cooperative training sessions for cataloging, Florida Library Youth Programs (FLYP), ILL services, etc.

Conduct training for staff to develop excellent customer service. Conduct yearly staff in-service workshops.

Explore continuing education opportunities in community organizations.


Provide governing board with timely financial statements.

Provide governing board with timely narrative reports of significant cooperative activities, including circulation & other library statistics.


Expand social media presence, including but not limited to myhlc.org, Facebook, twitter, etc. Provide Advocacy materials for obtaining State Aid Funding to member libraries.


Explore additional sources of grants and other funding and support

Assist member libraries with their grant applications and grants administration