The Montana State Library strongly encourages all libraries to have a strategic plan. Strategic plans are helpful tools for libraries because they can focus the library's programs and services and help with decisions on allocating resources based on community needs and how the library can meet those needs. There are many different ways to approach strategic planning. You'll find some resources below. Our consultants can offer facilitation help to public libraries going through a strategic planning process.   Please contact one of the consultants if you’d like more information about how the State Library can help you with your strategic plan.

There are many paths you can follow in developing your library's strategic plan. A good place to start is with some background on current issues and trends in libraries as well as data gathering.

Getting Started With Strategic Planning

From there you might want to look at some of these models for ideas and guidance.

Harwood Turning Outward Planning

Library Strategies Rapid Results Strategic PlanningThis is the process MSL consultants are currently using as part of the Framing the Future IMLS funded project.

For an idea of what a completed plan looks like see 

A Library Board's Guide to Strategic Planning - from United for Libraries (coming soon)

Public Library Service Responses

The Strategic Planning Process