Strategic Library - May 2014

“ I t h i nk t he hea l t h of our c i v i l i za t i on , t he dep t h of our awareness abou t t he underp i nn i ng of our cu l t ure , and our concern for t he f u t ure , can a l l be t es t ed by how we l l we suppor t our l i brar i es . ” - CARL SAGAN » Strategic Library ™

I ssue 5 / / May 1 5 , 2014

WHO’S YOUR BOSS? In the world of academic libraries, a decentralized university development operation and a dual reporting model offer strategic advantages for successful fundraising. BY SUSAN MODDER A KILLER GOOD TIME How to plan and host a murder mystery for all ages. BY AUDREY BARBAKOFF LIBRARIES ARE A PART OF AMERICA’S EDUCATION ENTERPRISE Simple shifts in language can usher in a new era for all libraries. BY VALERIE J. GROSS HOW TO SABOTAGE AN AUTOMATED MATERIALS HANDLING IMPLEMENTATION A lack of leadership and strategic planning can doom an AMH installation before it handles any books. BY LORI BOWEN AYRE RESEARCH DEFINES AND GUIDES LIBRARIES Researchers zero in on the challenges and opportunities facing libraries today. BY MARY ALICE DAVIDSON

Strategic Planning for Libraries » If a library doesn’t know where it wants to go, it may end up somewhere else.


uncertain, turbulent times like those librar- ies are currently experiencing. If a library doesn’t know where it wants to go, it may end up in a place that the library and its staff doesn’t like, where the library is under- valued, underused, and underfunded. THE PURPOSE OF PLANNING Strategic planning helps a library have a hand in inventing its future while provid- ing value among the communities it serves, meaning it is heavily used and well funded. Value derives from the library focusing on the needs of specific communities and on the ways in which the library can best meet their needs. Strategic planning should also help a library focus. Many libraries have no idea where they’re going because they’re at- tempting to go in too many directions. At

A story about the famous physicist Albert Einstein makes a critical point about the importance of planning. Einstein, the story goes, was traveling from Princ- eton on a train when the conductor came down the aisle, punching the ticket of every passenger. When the conductor came to Einstein, the scientist searched everywhere but couldn’t find his ticket. Finally, the conductor said, “Dr. Einstein, I know who you are. We all know who you are. I’m sure you bought a ticket. Don’t worry about it.” Einstein looked at the conductor and said, “Young man, I too know who I am. What I don’t know is where I’m going.” Like Einstein, a library needs to know where it’s going. This is especially true in

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