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Strategic Planning. Durham Public Library Strategic Planning Steering Committee: February 13, 2006 Dr. Paula M. Singer Ms. Gail Griffith, MS, MLS Ms. Lorraine Kituri, MS. Agenda. Introductions Strategic planning: what & why Our method for DPL: Search conference

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Strategic planning

Strategic Planning

Durham Public Library

Strategic Planning Steering Committee: February 13, 2006

Dr. Paula M. Singer

Ms. Gail Griffith, MS, MLS

Ms. Lorraine Kituri, MS


  • Introductions

  • Strategic planning: what & why

    • Our method for DPL: Search conference

    • Other parts of the process

  • Role of steering committee members

    • Assignments

  • Next steps

    • Timeline

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Strategic planning1
Strategic Planning

  • What

  • Why

  • How

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Why search conference
Why Search Conference?

  • Very high community and staff involvement

  • Short time-frame and limited budget

  • Fits beautifully with other planning activities in Durham, including (RBA) Results Based Accountability and DDI  (Downtown Durham, Inc.)

  • Excellent process for DPL’s needs

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What is a search conference
What is a Search Conference*?

  • A planning meeting that helps people move from ideas to action very quickly

  • Task-focused

  • Gets the ‘whole system’ in the room

  • Based on 50+ years of research and practice

  • Used in all sectors of society, and in cultures around the world

    *Adapted from information provided by the Future Search Network

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Conditions for success
Conditions for Success

  • Get stakeholders from throughout the system in the room

    • Large group process

    • Group members should be able to commit to action without seeking further permission

  • Explore the ‘whole elephant’ before acting on any part

  • Keep common ground and future focus front and center.

    • Differences and conflicts are information, not action items

  • Encourage self-management and responsibility for action by participants before, during, and after the conference

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Conditions for success1
Conditions for Success

  • Participants attend the full conference

  • Meet in healthy, comfortable conditions

  • Allow enough ‘soak time’

  • Ask for voluntary public commitments to action before participants leave

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Day One: A.M.

1. Focus on the Past

  • Timeline of key events

    2. Focus on the Present—External Trends

  • Mind Map to identify trends and select key trends

  • Stakeholder groups describe what they are doing now in relation to key trends and what they hope to do in the future

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    Methodology continued
    Methodology, continued

    3. Focus on the Present

    • Stakeholders report what they are proud of and sorry about in the way they are dealing with the library

      Day One: P.M.

      4. Ideal Future Scenarios

    • Diverse groups put themselves into the future and describe their preferred future as if it had already occurred

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    Methodology continued1
    Methodology, continued

    Day Two: A.M.

    5. Identify Common Ground

    • Diverse groups post themes they believe are common ground for everyone

  • Confirm Common Ground

    • Individuals organize into groups by self-selecting a goal they want to work on

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    Methodology continued2
    Methodology, continued

    Day Two, P.M.

    • Action Planning

      • Goal groups write a goal and objectives

      • Each group presents its work and receives feedback

      • Groups have the opportunity to upgrade their work

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    In a typical process
    In a typical process

    • Participants produce a plan that is about 85% complete

    • Participants have a commitment to the results and will support moving the work forward

    • A designated small group refines and completes the document, preserving the group’s original intent

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    For more information
    For More Information

    • Future Search, by Marvin Weisbord and Sandra Janoff

    • Discovering Common Ground, edited by Marvin Weisbord

    • Future Search Network,

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    Other steps sources of data
    Other Steps /Sources of Data

    • Work of quality councils

      • Reference/RA, Circulation, Customer Service

    • Best practice research, including

      • Site visits to local library leaders Charlotte/Mecklenburg, Greensboro, and Henrico (metro Richmond, Va.). 

      • Library Director panel; all employees invited to attend

    • Experience of board, staff, Library Director, steering committee, search conference participants and consultants

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    • Contemporary Library Customer Services

    • Services to Children and Families, Helping Children Enter School Ready to Learn*

    • Library Contributes to a Vibrant Community Embracing its Cultural Heritage*

    • Learning and Language

    • Online Library Services

    • Branches and Regional Libraries

      *Durham County RBA Priority Outcomes

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    Community communication
    Community communication

    • HIGH level of communications within and external to the library throughout the process

    • Transparent process

    • Through multiple channels

    • E-mail hotline

    • WIKI

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    What s a wiki
    What’s a wiki?

    • Web software designed for collaboration

      • ‘Wisdom of the Crowds’

    • Easy to use

      • No special software knowledge or training required

      • Can add text, photos, movies, more

    • Can set the desired levels of control and access

      • Can keep private or make public

      • Can distribute and share passwords for permission to create, edit, or moderate

      • Anyone can comment without having a password

    • From the Hawaiian, wiki-wiki means quick

    • Wikipedia is an example

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    Why a wiki for dpl
    Why a wiki for DPL?

    • Large number of people involved

      • Lots of research, data produced

      • Want to be able to share it widely

    • Can use a variety of visual and audio media to share information

    • Easy to update

    • Anyone can participate, share opinions

    • Can use it to publish a portfolio

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    Tour now visit later
    Tour Now/Visit Later

    • Much easier to experience than to describe!

    • Durham County Library Strategic Plan wiki

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    Roles of key players
    Roles of key players

    • Library Director

    • Core planning team

    • Steering Committee members

    • Consultants

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    Dpl s search conference
    DPL’S Search Conference

    • Location to be determined

    • Dates

      • May 18, 9:00—4:00

      • May 19, 8:30—2:00

    • Develop list of stakeholders to invite

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    Timeline and milestones
    Timeline and Milestones

    See attached calendar


    Other issues, questions?

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