Does your library have a strategic plan? Many of you are probably saying “Well, no. . . I know we probably should, but I don’t have time. We have enough to do just keeping the doors open and waiting on customers. Maybe someday when I have more help, or things slow down, or [fill in the blank].”
I wish I could convince you that you DO have time, or you must take (or make) the time to craft a strategic plan. I like to think of a strategic plan as a road map for your library, or for that matter, for any organization. You wouldn’t set out on a journey without a map. Well, I take that back—you might, but then you might get lost, or wander aimlessly, or have to rely on the advice or directions, or perhaps even the whim of others. The same thing happens to a library without a strategic plan.
Without a plan, you and your library are at the mercy of public pressure and public officials. But WITH a plan, you know where you are going. You can tell everyone where you are going. You can tell everyone what resources you need in order to get there, and what progress you are making toward getting there. And, moving away from the map analogy, you can demonstrate to taxpayers that you are making the best possible use of their money.
Take a look at some libraries’ road maps:
- Seattle Public Library
- Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County
- Waukesha Public Library (WI)
- DeKalb County Public Library (GA)