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Strategic planning for libraries

If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.
Woody Allen

John Crowley asks on the TeacherLibrarin Ning (and to me in a personal e-mail):

I would like to start a discussion around the ways you approach the need to develop a plan for your Library. I have been asked to update my book Developing a Vision: Strategic Planning and the Library Media Specialist and would like to write a book that would offer suggestions for in-depth and "dirty and cheap" planning for your library. I would be willing to share my experience with four different iterations of strategic planning. More important, I would like to see what others do to prepare their libraries to thrive in these turbulent times.


My response

I wonder if the term “strategic” is intimidating to many practicioners? I know it is the accepted term and an important concept, but it does sound pretty scary, formal and labor intensive. Anyway to combat that perception?

My own writing about planning doesn’t use the “s” word and is probably less formal (and less effective) than your approach. You can find my writings on the topic at:


Plan and Report to Build Program Support
What Gets Measured Gets Done
Maslow and Motherboards

I’d suggest addressing these important questions in your revision if you haven't done so already:

  • How do we tie library planning to building/district planning and goals?
  • How do we work with the technology folks to design coordinated plans?
  • How do we make the measurement our impact on student learning part of our planning?

Not sure if this is helpful or not, but there you go.

All the very best and good luck with the re-write.



OK, readers, please leave John some suggestions about what you would find helpful in a book about strategic planning either here or on the TeacherLibrarian Ning.

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