Wilton Library Launches Three-Year Strategic Plan to Address Current Challenges and Opportunities and to Reimagine the Library’s Future

Wilton Library is pleased to announce the release of its Strategic Plan for 2023-2026. The Strategic Plan is a road map for the library’s future, highlighting the library’s core purpose, mission, and vision, with focus on progress and working to successfully meet the diverse needs of the evolving Wilton community.

“We are in a pivotal moment of growth and opportunity both for the library and the Town of Wilton, and we decided that it was the right time to develop a focused Strategic Plan with a forward-looking approach and openness to change. We invite the community to engage with us as we reimagine and work towards what the library will be for future generations,” said Caroline Mandler, Executive Director of Wilton Library.

“Fortunately, we emerged strongly from the Covid pandemic, which brought many changes to Wilton and the surrounding towns. The Trustees recognized the need to critically analyze the library’s strengths and resources and find new ways to serve our increasingly diverse community,” said Rob Sanders, President of the Board of Trustees.

The strategic planning process, conducted with consulting firm Plan A Advisors, took six months and involved 22 confidential interviews and four focus groups. The entire library staff and Board of Trustees collaborated to create four key goals that will guide the library’s work over the next three years:


Goal 1: Wilton’s Center – Position the library at the center of Wilton at a time of growth and change. The library is an anchor institution with a prime location in the town center. Through community outreach, diversification, civic dialogue, and re-evaluation of our space, we will work to solidify our position as a “go-to” destination in town.

Goal 2: Core Constituents – Meet the evolving needs of Wilton residents at every life stage. Wilton’s demographic has changed rapidly in recent years, with the addition of more young families and increased ethnic diversity. We will work to ensure that the library better meets the needs of all Wilton residents through enhanced programming and resources and by adapting our facility’s spaces as required. We will also work diligently to build mutually beneficial relationships with local businesses.

Goal 3: The Brubeck Collection – Activate The Brubeck Collection as a marquee asset and point of pride for Wilton. In 2021, the library took responsibility for managing the vast and valuable archive of Dave Brubeck. We are currently working to expand online access to the collection, and we plan to activate it as a platform for arts and education to attract more jazz scholars and enthusiasts from all over the world.

Goal 4: Our Capabilities – Ensure the library’s strong future and its capacity to serve successive generations effectively. Our research confirmed that the library is a well-regarded asset that our community appreciates, with a strong track record of attracting committed Board members, a talented staff, and generous volunteers and contributors. Still, the library needs to develop a future generation of donors and volunteers to ensure that funding is in place to invest in our services, collections, and programs, as well as staff, systems, technology, and infrastructure.

“What does this all mean for the town of Wilton? We have created detailed plans for these four goals, all of which will yield material benefit to our community. We look forward to sharing updates as we put the plans into action,” said Mike Sutka, Board member and Chair of the Steering Committee. “Our Strategic Plan is dynamic and allows us to listen and adapt to the needs of Wilton. The library’s staff and Board are


excited about the opportunities and challenges ahead and look forward to collaborating with our community in thoughtful and innovative ways.”

The Strategic Plan provided an opportunity to affirm the library’s mission statement and create a vision statement:


We are the cultural and intellectual center of Wilton. We inform, enrich, connect, and inspire our community.


Wilton Library will fulfill the diverse needs of our changing community by providing informative programs, comprehensive resources, innovative technology, stellar services, and access to our unique assets, with plentiful opportunities to explore, learn, and create in an environment where everyone is made to feel safe and welcome. We will hold ourselves to the highest ethical standards and measure our success by the levels of participation and satisfaction in library programs and services.

The Wilton Library Strategic Plan for 2023-2026 can be viewed at https://www.wiltonlibrary.org/documents/101/Wilton_Library_Strategic_Plan_2023-2026.pdf.

The Steering Committee for the Strategic Plan was led by Chair and Board member Mike Sutka and included Board and community members Marty Avallone, Mike Boswood, Thom Healy, Betsy Huffman, Carol Johnson, and Christine Wachter; Executive Director Caroline Mandler; Associate Director Lauren McLaughlin, and Head of Adult Programming and Brubeck Collection Curator Michael Bellacosa. Board President Rob Sanders served as an ex officio member.

For more information, visit www.wiltonlibrary.org or call 203-762-3950.

Submitted by Wilton, CT

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