Thrive rather than survive: Incorporate assessment into your library planning
By Kathy Brown, Director for Planning and Research, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, USA
The depth and extent of the current economic downturn have affected all of us in both our professional and personal lives. Strategic thinking and careful planning are absolutely critical when the focus is on surviving rather than thriving. To a certain extent, this is not a new scenario for libraries. We have always had to plan carefully. Even in the best of times, we’ve rarely experienced the luxury of having enough resources to match what we hoped to achieve with our services, collections and staff.
While retrenchment may be the order of the day, library planning has undergone another major change over the last decade. Funding agencies no longer take it on faith that libraries do good things with their allocations. Society in general is demanding accountability, and assessment is becoming an increasingly important component of library planning.