What is strategic planning?
Well I guess it’s a bit like our program. It is a systematically written plan with a vision and goals and a sequenced timeframe telling us how we will get where we are going. It is designed to maximize student learning and cater for individual needs.It also includes an evaluative element that helps us gauge how well we have progressed and where we should head to next.
Of all the methods of strategic planning covered in Module 5 my favourite is Wongs (2012) format for strategic long term planning. She advocates the following steps:
1. Establish a committee to represent stakeholders and their interests
2. Look at sample procedures and models
3. Examine the community profile, the mission statements of the school and library program and the current status of the library to gather data regarding strengths, weaknesses opportunities and threats. This analysis can guide the formulation of goals and a vision.
4. Develop a 1 year (short term) action plan to describe specific steps, timeframes, activities and responsibilities to begin implementation. Review this at the start of each school year.
5. Develop a 5 year plan to drive the long term course of action. At this point an annual report should be generated along with a budget.
Why do we need it?
I looked at this question through the lens of being a leader wanting to implement change. A written plan would be taken more seriously by other stakeholders, especially if they were involved in its construction. It shows the TL to be a professional who is concerned with ongoing improvement and this may encourage teacher confidence in collaboration. It would provide a rationale to justify decision making in library management, programs and services. It provides a strong support for TL advocacy and budget requests.