Strategic Plan

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LIBRAS Strategic Planning Committee Final Recommendations to the Board and Directors June 23, 2005

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Committee Members

Jo Cates, Columbia College
Ayanna Gaines, Elmhust College
Lisa Gonzalez, Trinity Christian College
Ted Schwitzner, North Central College
Gretel Stock-Kupperman, Benedictine University Larry Wild, Judson College
Dale Zelenka, North Park University

Background and Process

The Strategic Planning committee was charged by the LIBRAS Executive Board to create a new strategic plan. The planning process was last undertaken in 1997, and this plan has governed LIBRAS’ direction since then. The committee first met in February 2005, and has continued its work until this point. After an initial meeting, the committee decided to gather information the strengths and weaknesses of LIBRAS from the perspective the Library Directors and the membership as a whole. A SWOT analysis was conducted at the March Directors meeting, an online survey was sent to the membership and these results were discussed at the annual meeting in May. Armed with this information, the committee is confident in the relevance and efficacy of the proposed Vision, Mission and Goal statements.

Vision

LIBRAS is a vital network of libraries and library workers dedicated to sharing knowledge, performing selfless acts of cooperation and assertively helping its members to enrich their professional lives.

Mission

LIBRAS is a consortium of private academic libraries in northeastern Illinois tied together by similar programs, populations and common threads of experience. It is dedicated to the development of best practices and cooperation among its members through networking, professional development and knowledge sharing. Founded on the comments of the membership from the survey and annual meeting and guided by the Vision and Mission statements, the committee has identified four broad goals for LIBRAS. These goals are purposefully specific enough to highlight issues and desires as reported by the membership and Directors, but broad enough to give the Executive Board and Directors latitude in how to accomplish them.

Goals

Founded on the comments of the membership from the survey and annual meeting and guided by the Vision and Mission statements, the committee has identified four broad goals for LIBRAS. These goals are purposefully specific enough to highlight issues and desires as reported by the membership and Directors, but broad enough to give the Executive Board and Directors latitude in how to accomplish them.

The committee felt that the tasks associated with these goals fell under the direction of the Executive Board and Directors. However, considering the wealth of information that the committee discovered in the planning process, we felt it important to offer some suggestions. The committee suggests that the Executive Board and Directors take into consideration the survey results and the minutes from the discussion at the Annual Meeting when deciding on additional tasks.

  1. Promote the development of all library staff members:
    • Mentor new members.
    • Develop programming relevant to all staffing levels.
    • Encourage paraprofessional/support staff participation in LIBRAS events and groups.
    • Provide leadership opportunities to all staff members through SIGs and other venues/ventures.
  2. Focus organizational energies on issues unique to our membership:
    • Develop events and programs that are relevant and timely to the membership
    • Revitalize special interest programming and heighten interest in these programs
    • Promote value of local experts and local knowledge transfer
    • Increase institutional participation is LIBRAS governance and planning
  3. Improve, enhance and facilitate communication at individual, institutional and consortial levels:
    • Establish a liaison program in order to orient and inform the membership about LIBRAS and facilitate news and information from the member libraries.
    • Explore a variety of communication media in order to streamline intra-organizational information sharing
    • Expand communication capabilities by establishing a communications committee to support the efforts of the Communication Director
  4. Evaluate and anticipate trends and actively address those that affect the membership.
    • No suggestions at this time.
Conclusion

The committee is strongly dedicated to the future of LIBRAS, and is confident in the grounding of its recommendations. LIBRAS members have highlighted the organization’s strengths and areas for improvement, and the committee has crafted those thoughts into positive statements to guide LIBRAS’ direction and development. This process has been enlightening for all members of the committee, and we look forward to the Executive Board and Directors addressing this document.