Community-Based Strategic Planning

By 2021, all public libraries will be required to have a “community-based, board approved, written long range plan of service developed by the library board of trustees and staff” as part of the Minimum Standards encoded in the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education. Failure to maintain the minimum standards could result in the loss of a library’s charter.

It is more important than ever for libraries to ensure that their long range plans align with community needs. Doing so ensures that the library is seen as central to the success of the community. To get insight on community needs, it is recommended that libraries use surveys, focus groups, and/or community interviews:

Further information about the library and the community can also be identified with statistics.

  • Data.Census.Gov (new data portal from the US Census Bureau)
  • Check with Brian Lee for data reports on the use of your collection

Once the needs of the community are established, develop 3-5 Goals.

For each Goal, develop Objectives. Objectives should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound.

Consider how success will be determined for each Objective. Common evaluation tools are statistics and surveys.

Below are some tips, links, and further information on the planning process.

For more help with Community-Based Long Range Planning, contact 4CLS.