Timeline: April 2019 – October 2019
Client: Kitchener Public Library 
Overlap Team: Sarah Martin, Marilyn Cameron

The Kitchener Public Library is an outstanding example of what’s possible when a library grounds their strategy in community needs. As the Library prepared to undertake the next strategic planning cycle, stakeholder engagement was an important step to involve the broader in planning for the Library’s future.

Overlap was contracted to support extensive stakeholder engagement—leading into strategic planning with the board in 2020. To launch the project, Overlap facilitated a kick-off meeting with the Kitchener Public Library and Overlap projects teams, and conducted detailed engagement planning. It was important for Overlap to emphasize an inclusive design approach throughout the engagement planning phase of the project and consider stakeholder analysis, recruitment, and engagement activities through this lens. Overlap also designed a visual identity and tagline that could be applied across all materials for the strategic planning engagement. 

For recruitment and facilitation of the Stakeholder Labs, Overlap leveraged our familiarity with the Kitchener Public Library’s context and our strong relationships with community stakeholders. Overlap facilitated six stakeholder labs that were uniquely designed to meet the needs of newcomers to Canada, people with lived experience of homelessness, older adults, youth, community leaders, and Library staff. Overlap also designed pop-up engagement stations and supported Library staff as they continued engagement with a variety of stakeholders at events and key locations throughout the community.

Overlap synthesized the engagement data and delivered an Insights Summary Report to serve as a foundation for the development of the Library’s upcoming strategic plan. In December, 2019 Overlap was contracted again to support Kitchener Public Library through strategic planning with the board in 2020. This will be Overlap’s second strategic planning cycle with Kitchener Public Library—the first was completed in 2015.