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Beyond Surveys and Purposeful Planning: Purposeful Planning

Moving beyond surveys and planning purposefully will help you create library programs and services that really meet the needs of your community. But how do we know what they really need and where do we start?


Here you will find resources and tools to help you with your project plan. Whether you are looking at space, services or programs ...

Community Needs Assessment

Start with a Community Needs Assessment. There are many ways to find out what your community needs but an essential step is to ask them! The resources below include many ideas for determining needs and then identifying key findings.


Personas are profiles of your community member. Use personas as a tool to better understand and address your community's needs. Personas can also help you summarize and communicate the research you've done on your community members. The tool you use to create a persona can be very low or high tech as shown by these two methods below. Read more about using Personas here.

Ideation & Brainstorming

"Ideation is about generating ideas and making them tangible."- IDEO, Design Thinking for Libraries

Ideation is the process of coming up with ideas and concepts. Here are a few resources about brainstorming and other activites that can help you and your team generate great ideas.

Ground Rules & Vetting Strategy

Action Plans

Your action plan is your blueprint for moving forward with your plan.

Key elements include:

  • Specific tasks
  • Who will work on those tasks
  • Due dates and deadlines
  • Resources needed
  • Potential challenges
  • Communication of the plan
  • Follow up by the project director
  • Celebration of accomplishments!

Read more best practices on action plans from MindTools and Community Tool Box.

Collaboration & Productivity Tools

The following tools have been suggested by workshop participants:

Project Management Tools

Capturing Visuals & Notes

During brainstorming and other idea generating sessions you will want to document your progress and results. These apps can help you turn photos of those notes into useable documents such as pdfs or to upload them directly into other applications.

Get Inspired!

Inspiration and information on new ideas are all around us. Sometimes the choices are overwhelming. Here are a few select tools and resources you can use as a jumping off point.

Online Learning