Additional Planning

After the long-range plan is in place, it becomes the basis for how the library operates. As the Board considers other elements of library services, it can use the long-range plan as the starting point for planning for facilities, technology and public relations.

I. Planning for Facilities

The typical public library serves the community with a variety of programs and a diverse collection of materials. The Board needs to determine if the facility meets the current needs of the library as well as its future needs based on the long-term plan. Will there be a need in the near future for more meeting rooms, for example? Do services focus on a particular user population, such as children or seniors? Will that change over time? Each group has its own needs and the facility should reflect that.

After the long-range plan is developed, the Board might decide that the library facility needs to be renovated or upgraded. If so, it is vital that the public be informed. Clearly communicate how the library's plan to meet future needs of the community is changing the face of the library. More information about planning for facilities is available from the State Library.

II. Planning for Technology

In addition to short-term issues, such as periodic upgrades of computer equipment, the Board must also consider long-term technology issues in light of the long-range plan. For example, if computer classes were identified as a community need, the Board may want to plan for the purchase of computers as well as find space for a computer lab within the facility. Or if digitization of local history was identified as a community need, the library might require a different set of technology and equipment than it currently owns. The long-range plan will be the guide for developing a technology plan that reflects the community's priorities.

III. Goals or Objectives?

Goals are general accomplishments that support the library mission. In general, goals are not time limited and are often not expected to be fully accomplished. A sample goal is: The library provides materials which are appropriate to the lifelong learning of its adult users.

Objectives are specific, measurable, time-limited descriptions of desired results. Achievement of objectives will be the basis for assessment of success in meeting library goals. One of many possible objectives that would relate to the above goal is: During the next fiscal year, increase turnover rate of selected sections of the adult nonfiction collection to 5 circulations per item.

IV. Planning for Public Relations

On-going communication with the public is key to implementing the library's long-range plan. Written plans for each public relations campaign will help the library achieve its goals. The plans should include a clear description of the target audience, that is, who the library wants to reach; a timeline; short- and long-term goals of the campaign; staffing requirements; the budget; and details of how success will be measured. (See Marketing the Library for more on public relations.)