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Strategic Planning That Doesn’t Hurt a Bit!
An Infopeople Online Learning Course
Course Instructor: Catherine Hakala-Ausperk
Do you know what your community needs from your library next year? What about the year after that? Do you know what problems or challenges your users are facing in their lives and how the library can help provide solutions? If you do – then your library can plan to offer relevant, valuable services. If you don't, then it's time to plan for success!
The good news is that today there is an exciting, engaging and successful way to do strategic planning, which involves everyone, from those who need the library to those who work there! As a result of this course, learners will be excited about the potential power of planning to move their library forward and keep it relevant and valued by the community. By the conclusion of the course, instructor Cathy Hakala-Ausperk will help learners to:
- Understand the value of planning and the potential consequences of not doing so.
- Recognize the problems with past planning processes and how they can be avoided in the future.
- Commit to broadening input in planning, beginning with the creation of a strategy team.
- Begin all planning with an understanding of community needs.
- Clarify the role of the governing board or group in planning and engage them successfully.
- Commit to including all staff, including managers and supervisors, in directing and supporting the end results of planning.
- Understand the value and process for involving each and every staff member in library strategy.
- Commit to engage in continual evaluation, revision and implementation of their library's plan, no matter what obstacles might get in their way.
Course Description: Through assignments and discussions, the course will help the learner to understand why we need to plan and, step-by-step, what's the best and most effective way to do it. Learners can also choose to complete a "Planning 101" document that can be used by small teams, large departments, branches or even full systems to actually create a working plan. The instructor will provide resources, best practices, and useful tips and techniques that can be applied immediately. During the course, there will be one online discussion meeting that will give learners an opportunity to share ideas and to answer questions.
Course Outline: When you log in to the Infopeople online learning site, you will see weekly modules with these topics:
- Week One: Not Your Grandmother's Strategic Plan
- What can happen when libraries don't plan
- How clear strategies can result in more interest, support and success
- How can we change past weaknesses in planning into positive changes?
- How planning can be efficient, relevant and fun (and really not hurt a bit!)
- Week Two: Start at the Beginning
- Why ignoring your plan won't work
- How Strategy Teams build skills (and assure your plan's success)
- What's going on in your community (and why that matters)
- How to ask the right questions, so you can find the answers
- Week Three: Direction from the Top
- Who represents your community in the library?
- What are goals…and who gets to set them?
- What does management know that others don't?
- What do strategy and professional growth have in common?
- Week Four: Front Line Success
- What's the difference between goals and job descriptions?
- How plans help staff members grow.
- When everything changes, what happens to your plan?
- Communicate, celebrate, repeat.
Time Required: To complete this course, you can expect to spend 2 ½ hours per week, for a total of ten course hours. Each week's module contains readings and various options for assignments, discussions, or online meetings. You can choose the options most relevant to your work and interests. Although you can work on each module at your own pace, at any hour of the day or night, it is recommended that you complete each week's work within that week to stay in sync with other learners.
Who Should Take This Course: All library staff who are (or want to be) involved in the strategic planning process.
Online Learning Details and System Requirements may be found at: infopeople.org/training/online_learning_details.
After the official end date for the course, the instructor will be available for limited consultation and support for two more weeks, and the course material will stay up for an additional two weeks after that. These extra weeks give those who have fallen behind time to work independently to complete the course.
Keywords: Planning, Supervision and management