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Here you will find resources and tools to help you with your project plan. Whether you are looking at space, services or programs ...
From the MLS Professional Collection
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.
Community Led Toolkit
"The library should be an expression of its community’s vision and creativity; this can only happen if we involve them actively in decision-making and planning."
A variety of resources, toolkits and guidelines for conducing needs assessments.
Transforming Libraries "Turning Outward" guide
"Turning outward" is a step-by-step process developed by The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation. It entails taking steps to better understand communities; changing processes and thinking to make conversations more community-focused; being proactive to community issues; and putting community aspirations first.
Understanding the Community-Rotary
Be sure to check out the Community Assessment Tools publication from this page for great ideas including a community mapping activity.
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
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:
Communication tool that allows for private and group messaging as well as file uploads.
Another communication tool to help keep projects more organized.
Works much like Evernote and Google Keep, a great option for Microsoft/Android users.
Online tool for managing projects and personal tasks, also allows for collaboration and syncs with mobile apps.
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.
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.