PAM SMITH is Director of Anythink Libraries in Thornton (CO). Contact Pam at psmith@anythink libraries.org. Pam is currently reading Bobby Kennedy: A Raging Spirit by Chris Matthews. This has been the year of strategic planning at Anythink Libraries, where I work. The Anythink Board of Trustees challenged our team to reinvent the library once again, […]
Posts Tagged ‘strategic planning’
We have been inundated by articles about the future of the library, yet little has been said about the future of librarians; those bastions of information and troughs of information and experience people rely on. Like the oft quoted proverb from Africa “When a knowledgeable old person dies, a whole library disappears,” librarians are surely as much the library as the brick and mortar buildings they work in.
In today’s fast-paced environment of constant technological, demographic, fiscal, and social change in our communities, we have to be nimble and ready to meet opportunities and push through challenges. Dynamic planning practices provide the tools to be in touch with our community members, empower staff, and engage stakeholders in order to continuously meet the needs of our communities.
The Public Library Association (PLA) held its annual Results Boot Camp program this year on August 24th – 28th at the Nashville Public Library. Facilitated by Sandra Nelson and June Garcia, this year’s event focused on strategic planning and service delivery. In its tenth year, Boot Camp is described by PLA as “intensive library management training,” although the specific focus varies each year. Participants attend four full days and one half-day session, which feature a mix of lecture-style instruction and small group work. Time is also allotted for individual reflection about how the content fits in with your particular library’s situation.
In my last post (Appreciative Inquiry: Identifying Your Library’s Existing Strengths) I described the first two phases of Appreciative Inquiry’s 4-D process: Discovery and Dream. This piece will explain the final two stages – Design and Destiny.
A very brief synopsis of what we’ve covered so far: Appreciative Inquiry is an approach to organizational change that builds on existing strengths. It begins by identifying the positive core (Discovery phase) and imagining the organization’s future when its strengths have been optimized (Dream phase). Now that a collective vision is in place, the next step is to translate the dream into actionable measures.
Boston Public Library successfully completed a strategic plan at the end of 2011, something we call the BPL Compass. There is a lot about the structure of our planning process that would sound familiar to other organizations in the midst of developing their strategy. But in the year that has passed since the library’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved the BPL Compass, three things have emerged as unexpected keys to our success.