On Thursday, May 3rd over 50 trustees, directors, and library staff from across the Northeast, Wilkes-Barre, and Pottsville districts came to Wilkes-Barre to learn more about strategic planning from Pat Wagner of Pattern Research. Participants enjoyed learning about the five simple steps to a strategic plan and how a strategic plan can help you re-envision the library, its services, and how the community can become involved in the planning process.
Participants discussed their current plans over breakfast, then received answers to questions they had brought to the workshop. They laughed at the wit in Pat’s excellent library and non-profit examples from across the country, and thoughtfully engaged with their peers in discussing questions about their specific challenges. During a working lunch and into the afternoon, audience participation activities and frank discussions about how to balance the priorities of past, present, and future to create a plan that allows the library to be flexible in the face of the unexpected finished out the day on a high note.
Participants left with a packet provided by Pat that included a wealth of knowledge. Also recommended was Library Research Service, which provides information libraries can use to help prioritize their goals, increase stakeholder buy-in, and gives examples of how to use data more effectively.
With a mix of those new to the process all the way to those who are old hat at creating and implementing plans, everyone walked away with something from the training to take back to their library. Many commented that they were hoping to create or update a plan or considered looking further into the future than just this year, which can be a challenge.
Jessica DeMarte, MSLS
Pottsville Free Public Library