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Strategic Planning for Libraries

Discover resources and information to develop a strategic plan for your library.

What Next?

Once your plan is completed, libraries should ensure that regular attention is given to the plan:

  • First off - celebrate! Share the plan with your community by inviting them to see the results. (Use a library tea or ice cream social to encourage attendance!)
  • Make the strategic plan a public document: post it on your website, have it available in the library for patrons, reference in annual reports.
  • Ensure the staff has read the plan and knows their part in working towards the library's goals and priorities. 
    • Salt Lake City Public Library created a Roadmap Field Guide with their 2018 Strategic Plan to assist staff in aligning their work with the plan.
  • Discuss the plan with your Board regularly. Identify any changes to priorities and shifts that may need to be made. Remember - this is a living document! It can be flexible as the library environment changes.
  • Write the yearly action plan, identifying steps towards the library goals.

Strategic Plan Assessment

As noted above, regular reference to the strategic plan will ensure that your library is working on the goals and priorities most important to the community and other stakeholders. There are different ways this can be accomplished:

  • Project Outcome - a free library toolkit to measure outcomes for various library services. 
  • Library Assessment Fundamentals - ALA's CORE has a guide discussing the basics on assessment plans.
  • Library Action Plan - a typically annual outline of the measurable steps being taken towards a library's goals and priorities. MBLC requires submission of an action plan for each year of an approved strategic plan.

Action Plans

Once your library's strategic plan is approved, you will need to submit an Action Plan each year to the MBLC to show the steps you are taking towards achieving your plan's goals. This Action Plan is due each December 1 for the following fiscal year (e.g. Action Plan submitted December 1, 2023 will be for FY 2025 (July 2024 - June 2025). 

The MBLC has more information, including a template and the submission link, on their Action Plans webpage.