So, how do you get from where your library is now, to become a 21st Century Library? Good question. Huge question, but one that deserves an answer. Simple answer: develop a strategy.
Hopefully, your library is using a strategic plan to guide your activities and resource allocation to support those activities, which in turn accomplish objectives, goals and eventually your library mission. The below diagram outlines the essential elements of a quality strategic plan.
So, having a strategic plan that points the way toward a vision of your 21st Century Library seems kinda like a no-brainer. But (you say), “What are the goals, objectives and activities of a 21st Century Library?” To which I say, “That is for you to decide.” But, seriously, what other approach would you use? (Not a rhetorical question!)
If someone has a better approach to beginning to move toward becoming a 21st Century Library, I would love to hear it. A strategic plan provides ALL of the elements necessary to make it happen, not just allow it to happen, but to MAKE it happen. Without a strategic plan any organization will flounder because they have no rudder to guide their activities toward a goal, no system to allocate critically limited resources to complete activities that achieve goals and objectives that ultimately achieve the mission. Allocating resources here and there as current pressures sway decisions leads nowhere, except to the expenditure of those resources without accomplishing any specific goals. Think about it.
I’m interested in hearing from anyone who has already done any of this hard work, or has done it another way.