Skip to Main Content

MLS Strategic Plan - 2021 - 2026*: Planning Process


Information on our Planning Process

Strategic Plan Committee

Member, Board, and Staff representation to the committee

Virtual Town Halls

Information on our virtual member participation opportunities with Stephanie Chase

Share your thoughts
A form to submit your ideas and suggestions 


Status & Next Steps

June 2020
Town Hall meetings with library members, partners and stakeholders

June and July 2020

passive engagement opportunities held by MLS staff in conversation with staff at member libraries

August 2020

Committee work with Stephanie, 2nd round of Virtual Town Hall meetings with members

September 2020

Approved by the MLS Executive Board

November 2020
Approved by MLS membership at annual meeting

January 2021
Implementation conference


MLS Strategic Plan 2021-2024

Welcome to our Resource Guide for our Strategic Plan 2021-2024. As we move through our planning process, this guide will be updated with information, resources, and opportunities. 

2020 is an exciting year for MLS. In July, we’ll be celebrating our 10th birthday, and it’ a Strategic Planning year for us. While the last few months have certainly shifted our focus, we’ve also been staying the course with our plans for this year. I am pleased to announce that we have hired Stephanie Chase, of Constructive Disruption, to lead us through our planning process.

Our process this year will look a bit different from previous years. Over the past four years, we have continued to build off of the great goals and initiates laid out in our last plan, and have had thoughtful and meaningful ongoing conversations with you through consultations, listening tours, surveys, director forums, informal discussions, and collaborative work opportunities. We continued to utilize the information and data you’ve shared with us to build three potential strategic initiatives (listed in the box on the right) to focus on in the next few years. But we want to make sure we heard you correctly, ask if there are other opportunities for MLS, and ensure that staff working at all levels and in all types have the opportunity to engage with us. We know this is a busy and a difficult time for our members, and we are committed to being thoughtful of your time and your energy as we reach out to engage with you.

Virtual Town Halls

Our initial round of town halls has been completed; thank you to those of you who joined us! You can review the notes, presentation, key takeaways, and a recording on the Virtual Town Halls tab. 

Member Engagement Interviews

Over the past month, MLS staff have engaged in one on one interviews with staff at member libraries and at partner organizations to learn more about the work they are engaged in, to see how MLS can help with their work, and ask for input for our plan. Additionally, we invited staff to share their thoughts with us via our Feedback Form. Thank you  for talking with us and sharing your ideas!

Strategic Planning Committee 

The Strategic Planning Committee met for two hours together in a virtual kick-off session on Monday, August 10; worked independently on a set of brainstorming and feedback activities Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and came back together on Friday for a two-hour virtual wrap up session. As with the virtual town halls, member input and direction-setting was a core value; 70% of the time we allocated for stakeholder work was spent in member-led discussion or feedback collection.

The goal of the stakeholder sessions was to more deeply engage a group of MLS members in the feedback collected to date, and ask them to help prioritize and clarify next steps. Please read our Summary Document.

2nd Round of Virtual Town Halls

We hosted several Virtual Town Halls in late August, 2020.  You can read the update and view a recording of one of the sessions here

Next Steps

We'll present a draft plan to the MLS Executive Board at our September meeting. Then, staff will being working on action plan steps, preparing the FY22 Plan of Service and Budget, all to be presented at the MLS Annual Meeting on November 2, 2020. 

Sarah Sogigian

MLS Executive Director


Proposed Strategic Initiatives

Based on our member conversations over the past few years, we've identified 3 proposed strategic initiatives:

Sustainability of service

Succession planning/leadership development

Equity of service