31 Examples of Library Vision and Mission Statements

I scoured the web for the best mission statements for libraries. In my research, I discovered most libraries actually had three core statements:

  • A vision statement
  • A mission statement
  • A vision statement

Each serves its own purpose, which I discuss below.

Use the table of contents to navigate this page. You’ll see that I’ve provided some instructions on how to make your own library mission, values and vision statements as well as a list of examples of statements I’ve found from around the web.

The Difference between Values, Vision and Mission

A library mission statement sets out your purpose. It shows how you serve your community every day. For mission statements, it’s good to start them with phrases like:

  • “We are…”
  • “Our purpose is to…”
  • “Every day we…”

A library vision statement sets out your students’ (or community’s) future. It shows what you want your visitors to have learned once they leave:

  • “We aspire for our students to be…”
  • “Our students will be equipped with…”
  • “We strive to develop a community with…”

A library values statement sets out your principles. It shows your community what you value. Examples of things you value include:

  • Inclusion
  • Equity
  • Free access to information
  • Social justice
  • Serving others

Best Words to use in a Library Mission Statement

I pulled together a whole stack of vision, values and mission statements from libraries around the web and threw them into a word cloud. This is what came up:

library mission statement words

Some good words I like from those statements are:

  • Serve
  • Information
  • Access
  • Welcoming
  • Support
  • Community
  • Research
  • Responsive
  • Empower
  • Media
  • Communication Technology
  • Encourage
  • Ethical

Library Mission Statement Examples

School Library Mission Statements

  • “[Our Library] offers a welcoming and supportive environment, where we are committed to ensuring that students graduate as competent and ethical users of information technologies with strong intellectual curiosity and life-long love of reading, learning, and independent thinking.” – Oak Bay High Library
  • “[Our] mission is to promote information and digital literacy to all students, staff and the community. Through collaboration, research and thinking critically, students will become proficient learners in accessing information in the 21st century.” – Stephenson Elementary Library Media Center
  • “…to provide a place for students to learn and appreciate the power of information through various print and electronic materials, to supply a space where ideas can meet through students and teachers, and to inspire individuals of any kind to be an active and contributing member of society.” – Tuscaloosa City Schools
  • “to provide quality learning experiences designed to equip students with the skills to adapt and thrive in a changing global environment.” – William Byrd High School
  • “to help each student excel and achieve maximum potential by creating a 21st century learning environment, fostering a love of reading, and promoting the effective use of information and communications technology.” The Meadows Elementary Library
  • “The mission of the school library program is to provide an inviting, dynamic learning environment and services that support and enhance teaching, literacy and learning.” – New Brockton Elementary Media Center
  • “Engage students in meaningful experiences that foster 21st century learning” – Kingsville Elementary Library

> Read Also: 79 School Vision and Mission Statements

Community Library Mission Statements

  • “To enrich lives and communities through universal access to knowledge, lifelong learning, and literacy.” – Vancouver Island Regional Library
  • “To enrich the lives of the community by empowering its citizens’ personal, educational and professional growth. The library is dedicated to advancing literacy and fostering life-long learning.” – Belmont Public Library
  • “…provides free and equitable access to services which meet the changing needs of Torontonians. The Library preserves and promotes universal access to a broad range of human knowledge, experience, information and ideas in a welcoming and supportive environment.” – Toronto Public Library
  • “…provides our community with an inviting center for information, instruction, learning, leisure, and cultural opportunities.” – Provo City Library
  • “enriches lives by fostering lifelong learning and by ensuring that every member of the community has access to a vast array of ideas and information.” – San José Public Library
  • “provides a wide range of information and materials, using traditional and innovative methods, for all ages to promote, encourage and support the diverse needs within the community.” – Langley-Adams Library
  • “to provide all residents with impartial and inclusive access to a wide range of information resources, programs, equipment, and services in order to encourage literacy and lifelong learning and to support educational, cultural, and recreational activities.” – Trent Lakes Public Library
  • “…an open forum promoting knowledge, ideas, and cultural enrichment.” – Santa Clara County Library
  • “We bring people together by inspiring and supporting lifelong-learning, literacy, creativity and cultural expression to find, share and create knowledge.” – Coffs Harbour Libraries
  • “The mission of the public library is to provide free and open access to a broad range of materials and services to people of all ages and backgrounds.” – Wisconsin Public Libraries
  • “…transforms lives by cultivating personal and intellectual growth and by building strong communities.” – Queens Public Library

> Read Also: Childcare Mission Statement Examples

Library Vision Statement Examples

School Library Vision Statements

  • “…prepares students for the skills needed for middle school, high school, college and beyond.” – Stephenson Elementary Library Media Center
  • “to empower students to learn technology and 21st-century skills incorporating collaboration, communication, creativity, critical thinking, and citizenship.” – William Byrd High School
  • “…empowers students to be curious, passionate, respectful learners who explore, connect, evaluate, and create.” Iowa City Community Schools
  • “To be the welcoming heart of our community where all come to learn, discover, create, and connect.” – Bellville Public Library
  • “The library will enable our students to become seekers of ideas and information, will help nurture an interest in reading, and will encourage a desire for lifelong learning.” – New Brockton Elementary Media Center

Community Library Vision Statements

  • “To develop strong library branches that are vital community destinations for knowledge, inspiration, innovation, and renewal.” – Vancouver Island Regional Library
  • “…to provide a center for information and discovery through innovative programming, robust collections, and responsive services.” – Bellville Public Library
  • “An informed, engaged, and connected city.” – Vancouver Public Library
  • “…will be recognized as the world’s leading library by informing and inspiring Toronto and its communities.” – Toronto Public Library
  • “…a leader in celebrating reading and transforming lives through knowledge and information. The library provides accessible services through current technology and resources.” – Trent Lakes Public Library
  • “Our libraries, museum, and gallery inspire learning, sharing, creativity and inclusion, and are a cornerstone for our community’s economic, social and cultural well-being.” – Coffs Harbour Libraries

> Read Also: University Mission Statement Examples

Conclusion

Library mission statements are personal to the context in which they’re located. If you’re a library situated in a diverse city, it’s probably imperative that you focus on diversity in your mission and vision statement. Similarly, if you’re a school, your school library mission statement will be full of information about students and learning.

A collaborative approach that includes all stakeholders – including community partners, staff, parents, students and clients can help ensure your mission and vision statements reflect the community you serve.

And once you’ve created these statements, make sure they’re embedded in everything you do so they’re worth the paper they’re written on! The statement is a guidepost, but it’s up to the team to put it into action on a daily basis.