Strategic or Long Range Planning Resources

As part of our role as consultants, we often receive questions from library workers about strategic or long range planning. We have compiled many of the resources that we refer to when faced with these questions. If you would like a quick way to bookmark these resources, go to our planning page.

Before you get started

Why is a Strategic Plan Necessary for a Small Library? 2015 (Infopeople) – This article from Infopeople details the reasons for strategic planning.

Edge toolkit 2019 (Edge) – The newly updated toolkit is based on a national set of benchmarks for public libraries to evaluate their public technology services, and includes resources, recommendations  and tools for strategic planning and community engagement.

The Planning Process

Strategic Planning When You Can’t Afford a Consultant 2018 (Texas State Library) – This 1-hour webinar presented by Michele Stricker, Deputy State Librarian of Lifelong Learning at the New Jersey State Library, explores cost-effective ways to approach strategic planning.

A Library Board’s Practical Guide to Strategic Planning 2016 (United for Libraries) – This PDF guide to the planning process is written from the library board’s perspective and includes information about how to complete an environmental scan and write vision and mission statements.

Measuring Outcomes

Project Outcome 2018 (Public Library Association) – This free online toolkit provides outcome measurement tools and resources.

Integrating Project Outcome into Strategic Planning & Measuring Priority Areas 2017 (American Library Association) – This video presentation includes panelists who have incorporated Project Outcome into their libraries’ planning processes.

Library Examples

Buda Public Library – 2017-2021 – The Buda Public Library’s strategic plan highlights a straightforward approach that is well-organized and data driven.

Fort Worth Public Library – 2019-2021 – This strategic plan is highly visualized, including photographs within the plan document and an accompanying video.

Greenfield Public Library – 2016-2020  – The data in this strategic plan is presented in a few ways, including pie charts and bar graphs.

Additional Reading: Recommended Titles from the Library Science Collection  Long Range Planning for Libraries

Email requests to borrow these titles from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission’s Library Science Collection to  

Crash Course in Strategic Planning (2013). Authors: Stephen A. Matthews and Kimberly D. Matthews – This book provides a clear overview and might be a good place to start.

Strategic Planning for Results (2008). Author: Sandra Nelson for the Public Library Association – A classic, this title focuses on strategic planning with the end result in mind.

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