Strategic planning offers organizations the opportunity to align with a vision for the future, identifying unique and prioritized objectives to guide success. This is true across all industries but is especially so for libraries.
Ideally, a library has an active strategic plan unifying the organization. With short and long-term goals, actionable tasks, and measures for success, a library can create opportunities for continuous reflection and improvement. A strategic plan rooted in community engagement is critical to ensure libraries are equipped to respond to rapidly changing environments and community needs.
Strategic Planning for Libraries
With limited resources, libraries may be challenged to lead a comprehensive and inclusive strategic planning process. Attain Partners has a unique solution to strategic planning for libraries, combining the expertise of both library and strategy consultants to facilitate the development of an actionable plan that connects the current state with a realistic vision for the future.
One of the key benefits of library strategic planning with Attain Partners is our ability to leverage industry expertise, including rigorous benchmarking and facilitation best practices.
Strategic planning doesn’t need to be difficult, and we can tailor our proven approach to meet the needs and cadence of any given library. When collaborating with library staff and leadership, it is critical to incorporate the following questions into the planning efforts:
- What is the vision of the university?
- What community does this library serve? Who is in this defined community?
- What does the community need from a library?
- Do the current services and collection materials reflect community needs?
- What are the library’s organizational strengths and challenges?
- What resources are available and allocated to organizational strategy?
- When was the last strategic plan developed?
- How readily available is data on library services and collections?
- Does the library’s current mission and vision align with recent performance?
- Does the planning timeline allow the necessary community engagement to ensure that strategy more closely aligns to the needs of those the library serves?
Library Industry Experts at Attain Partners
Our team of career librarians brings over 40 years of combined experience working in libraries. Attain Partners brings a unique service to clients that is grounded in collaboration, fostering a shared sense of ownership throughout the process. Our distinctive strategic planning partnership aligns long-term strategic objectives with shorter-term priorities so library leadership can efficiently marshal resources and iteratively build organizational success rather than focus on disparate initiatives.
Through collaboration, our team provides complementary support services for our strategic directives, including organizational reviews, continuous improvement models, and process mapping.
While strategic plans encompass a library’s entire organization, our consultants work with libraries to optimize their resources and focus on priority goals to benefit their programs and services. Through collaboration with stakeholders, our consultants learn about the unique needs and culture of each library we work with to help pinpoint specific focus areas and maximize limited time and resources. Every deliverable we provide is relevant and actionable.
Attain Partners – Library and Strategy Experts
At Attain Partners, our consultants leverage over 40 years of experience to provide tailored library planning and strategy services to academic and research libraries. We draw on our extensive professional experience working in libraries to provide strategic planning, assessment, process optimization, change management, staff augmentation, and improve the research and student experience in libraries. Discover how Attain Partners can support your library’s strategic planning process.
Learn more about our Library Planning and Strategy services here.
Our strategic planning services are based on rigorous benchmarking and the latest market research. We focus on bringing your team together to build a shared sense of ownership of vision, mission, and strategic priorities. Discover how we can help you drive your strategic agenda and advance your mission with a clear path forward.
Learn more about our Strategic Planning services here.
About the Authors
Melany Barrett is a Manager in the Strategic Transformation Services practice of Attain Partners. With over a decade of experience in Higher Education, she has demonstrated knowledge in business process improvement, project management, organizational assessment, and faculty affairs administration. Prior to Attain Partners, Ms. Barrett supported Higher Education administration and strategic initiatives as a member of an internal consulting team. She is a key contributor to the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Allyship (IDEA) Performance Maturity Framework™, leading DEI assessments for institutions. She is a Prosci® Certified Change Management Practitioner who has extensive knowledge and training in the field and holds an MBA from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business.
Ms. Blake Norby is a Senior Library Consultant for the Research Enterprise Services practice of Attain Partners. During her time with Attain Partners, Ms. Norby has been involved in multiple library consulting projects with higher education institutions. She has participated in various stages of Facilities & Administrative Expense (F&A) strategic planning, proposal preparation and submission, and space functional usage studies with a focus on library spaces. Ms. Norby brings over 13 years’ experience working in libraries with extensive knowledge of using patron data to create inclusive, accessible library spaces and programs. She is currently a member of the American Evaluation Association (AEA), the American Library Association (ALA) including the Public Library Association, and several additional roundtables and special interest groups.
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