The Written Plan

Since planning is a continuing process based on evaluation and reassessment, a strategic plan is a flexible document, informed by specific local needs. However, most plans include the following essentials:

  • A preface, or very brief overview of the planning process with acknowledgments and thank yous
  • A description of the library's service area and communities
  • A vision statement, or broad view of how the library is going to have a direct effect or impact on its customers and the greater community
  • A mission statement that tells a) what the library does, b) how this is done, c) for whom it is done, and d) what value the library brings to the community.  Your library's mission statement does not have to look like anyone else's.  The important thing is to figure out what is important to your community and start from there.
  • Strategic issues, or critical challenges facing the library
  • Goals, or broader statements of what is to be achieved
  • Strategies, or general approaches that will be taken to achieve the goals
  • Activities, or actions that will be taken to implement the strategies
  • Measures of Success / Evaluative Criteria, or how the library will know if it has been successful in its services
  • Implementation & Evaluation, or a description of how the plan will be implemented and how the evaluation process will be used
  • Timeline to achieve goals and evaluate and reassess the plan periodically
  • Publicity plan to build awareness in the community
  • Appendices, including a summary of needs assessment data.