Technology disruption has made it critical for libraries to develop strategies to be future-ready. We’ve seen a rapid adoption of smart voice assistant devices such as Alexa this past year. I’m sure you continue to hear from family and friends that they can find any information they need on Google. And the Pew Research Center recently reported that a quarter of American adults said they haven’t read a book in whole or part in the last year. On top of that, our country is in-crisis faced with an increase in racism, income inequality, stress, gun violence, and political division. What do these issues mean for the future of our libraries and our communities? How can libraries respond to not just remain relevant and essential, but to become positive change agents for social justice? What do we need to do to prepare our libraries for a successful future?
Strategic planning! Strategic planning is a key process to prepare for a successful future. It’s common knowledge that the MBLC requires a strategic plan in order for a library to qualify for LSTA funding or construction grants. Maybe your library is not interested in these two opportunities? Then, why should you still use strategic planning? For three important reasons:
- Planning empowers your library to make the greatest impact possible by developing a mission, vision, goals, and objectives to guide your activities.
- Planning helps you tailor services to meet the specific needs of you community.
- Planning cultivates devoted and enthusiastic champions for your library.
Strategic planning will guide your library’s future through creation of a livable, breathable document created in collaboration with your community. A strategic plan serves as a map for your journey, not a rigid policy. When you create or update your library’s mission and vision, it helps you identify where to invest your resources for new initiatives, services, and programs to make the maximum impact and community benefit. By specifying goals, measurable objectives, and activities, you chart a course to guide your decisions, identify the most critical services and programs to support and implement, and improve staff performance. Strategic planning is essential for change management. Continue reading