Creating a Staff-Led Strategic Plan: A Practical Guide for Libraries

Bloomsbury Jun. 2023. 232p. ISBN 9781440879111. pap. $74.95. PRO MEDIA
Mathuews (senior director of administration, Ohio Univ. Libraries; Academic Library Makerspaces, coauthored with Daniel J. Harper) and Spellman (library support specialist, Ohio Univ. Libraries) offer an alternative approach to strategic planning, arguing that libraries of all types can successfully conduct effective strategic planning without relying on outside resources. The authors detail the benefits of a staff-led approach over hiring a consultant or adopting an in-house-leadership-led approach, noting that staff involvement will ensure that goals are relevant, practical, and affordable and, most importantly, that library staff will feel connected to and invested in the project’s success. While the coauthors draw upon established research, their work is based in practicalities, providing step-by-step road maps and real-world examples of successful initiatives. The book is divided into three sections: “Pre-Project Planning,” which focuses on foundational knowledge; “Creating the Plan,” which provides details on environmental scans and collaborative work; and “Implementing the Plan,” which discusses workflow, priorities, and troubleshooting. Though the authors tread some familiar ground, their approachable writing and tested strategies make this a valuable resource for libraries seeking to create inclusive, flexible plans that work.
VERDICT This user-friendly, scalable guide is a solid addition to strategic-planning literature, providing everything library planners need to get started.
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