Mission & Values
Library Mission & Values
Our mission is to inspire lifelong learning and to actively promote personal enrichment by connecting community members to information, ideas, culture, unique historical resources, and each other in a tradition of innovation and excellence.
- Access - We believe that our resources should be freely accessible to all; we respect privacy & confidentiality.
- Community - We connect community members to information, ideas, culture, unique historical resources, and each other.
- Education - We promote an educated society with lifelong learning opportunities for all.
- Innovation - We encourage creativity and exploration of ideas by providing resources for personal enrichment.
- Intellectual Freedom - We uphold intellectual freedom and resist all efforts to censor library resources.
- Preservation - We preserve information in many media and formats to make our unique historical resources accessible to all.
- Inclusion - We value and reflect our community’s diversity in our programming, partnerships, collections, displays and staffing.
- Stewardship - We honor the resources placed in our charge by being fiscally, environmentally, and socially responsible.
- Sustainability - We champion environmentally sound, economically feasible and socially equitable sustainability practices.
Strategic Plan FY 21-26
The Cultural Heart of the Community for 150 Years
Since its dedication in 1873, the Concord Free Public Library has proudly opened its doors to provide a warm, inviting place to explore, think, and gather in the heart of Concord. It serves as the thriving cultural core of our community. The Library is the embodiment of treasured Concord values - culture, diversity, and civic discourse. It is the great equalizer - free, open, and accessible to all. The Library continues to reimagines itself for future generations, seeking to protect its beloved spaces and cherished resources, while responding to the changing needs of the community in its newly expanded facilities.
Our strategic priorities are developed in collaboration with Library patrons and community stakeholders. Learn more about how we work.
We will continue to strengthen Concord by connecting people to ideas, each other, and other organizations within the community.
Identify and address emerging community needs of youth and parents, multicultural and intergenerational audiences, and those with community mental health and well-being needs.
Integrate Special Collections further into the community by serving as a resource to students and teachers, expanding our oral history outreach, and promoting the use of the archives for genealogy and local history research.
Connect people around shared interests by organizing user, book, and support groups, offering topical programs, and convening small group discussion salons. Offer programs with remote and hybrid attendance options for increased accessibility.
We will continue to explore ideas through learning and forums, and history through our Special Collections. We will continue to explore our historically rich yet vibrantly modern town of Concord, as well as books and other media to serve as windows to the world. Identify and address emerging community needs of youth and parents, multicultural and intergenerational audiences, and those with community mental health and well-being needs.
Foster community learning by hosting talks by local experts, hosting a Writer in Residence, and promoting information about the wealth of activities happening around town.
Open the Workshop makerspace and collaborate with local arts and cultural organizations and schools to offer classes, sponsor events, develop programs, promote community service, and achieve shared goals.
Celebrate the Library’s 150th Anniversary in 2023, commemorating 150 years of proud service as the cultural heart of Concord.
Establish and then integrate inclusion and social justice priorities into all Library operations, including offering internships to foster diversity in the field of librarianship, pursuing training opportunities for staff, and offering educational programs to the community on topics of diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and access.
We will continue to innovate in Library practices, services, technology and materials. We will innovate in how people use the Library, and provide the setting for our patrons to innovate for themselves.
Provide new services and opportunities in the expanded library facilities which now include 37% more square footage for gathering, collaborative and interactive learning spaces, and enhanced preservation of the historical assets in our collections.
Promote civic discourse and offer rich artistic and cultural experiences that delight audiences, while recording, broadcasting, archiving and distributing this unique digital content to broader audiences.
Encourage patrons to use Library resources in new and innovative ways, including offering new hands-on learning and technology literacy opportunities.
Invest in realizing the goals of the Library’s Sustainability Plan by working closely with community partners and advisors to complete the Sustainable Libraries Initiative certification process.
Download the Library's Strategic Plan FY21-FY26.
Download the Library's Plan of Action FY24 - FY25
Statement Condemning Racism
A Statement from the Leaders of
the Town Library Committee,
The Library Corporation, and
the Friends of the Concord Free Public Library
June 15, 2020
What is a [person] born for but to be a reformer, a remaker of what has been made, a denouncer of lies, a restorer of truth and good? ~ Emerson
In the wake of the brutal murder of George Floyd and in recognition that this event is just one in a series of devastating losses America’s Black community has experienced, we, the leaders of the Town Library Committee, the Library Corporation, and the Friends of the Concord Free Public Library, would like to state plainly that we condemn racism in all forms. In this historic moment, we stand together in support of our Black family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, and patrons in our fight for safety, equity, and justice.
The Library was established on the foundational principle that it be free and open to all. Its mission is to connect community members to information, ideas, culture, historical resources, and each other. In our mutual commitment to further those values, we know we can do better and we will do more. We commit to the following actions:
- The Library Committee will include specific Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion goals in the Library’s Long Range Plan.
- The Library Committee will engage in discussions with librarians to encourage representation of a broad range of identities in our collections, our displays, and the authors we include in our collections.
- The Library Corporation will meet with the Curator of Special Collections to discuss representation in our Special Collections and to encourage that Concord’s Black history is accurately and fully represented.
- The Library Corporation will provide a speaker series to engage in civic discussion about race, diversity, prejudice, inclusion, and representation.
- The Friends of the Library will continue to fund the Unconscious Bias program offered through the Concord-Carlisle Adult & Community Education (CCACE).
- The Friends of the Library will continue to include a diverse range of speakers in our ongoing programs, including the Poetry, Author, Film, and Music Series, as well as the Festival of Authors.
- The Friends of the Library will seek to provide additional programs that offer diverse perspectives and directly address the structural changes necessary to mitigate past and current racial injustices.
- The Library Corporation, the Friends of the Library, and the Town Library Committee will prioritize identifying a diverse range of candidates for their board membership.
We are grateful to the Library staff members who have curated lists of books and media to support, inspire, and inform our ongoing fight for racial justice.
Our hearts are with you, our community, as we stand together in condemning racism. We must do better.
Tara Edelman, Chair of the Town Library Committee
Sherry F. Litwack, President of the Concord Free Public Library Corporation
Aiyana Currie, President of the Friends of the Concord Free Public Library