Document Type


Peer Reviewed


Publication Date


Journal/Book/Conference Title

Iowa Library Association/Association of College and Research Libraries Spring Conference

Conference Location

Ankeny, IA

Total Pages

23 pages


Strategic planning is often seen as a top-down process, resulting in a document that sits on the shelf gathering dust while the real work of the library carries on. How can library leaders create a document that is truly representative of the library staff’s goals and priorities?

At our institution, we used an activity called “goalstorming” to engage library staff in the process of drafting goal statements for the strategic plan. First, potential goal statements were collected from various sources and classified according to four broad themes or “pillars”, corresponding to the University’s strategic plan. Then, library staff from all departments and classifications were invited to participate in a simple sorting activity. Each staff member was given a selection of goal statements for each pillar and were asked to sort the statements by importance to the library mission. They were also invited to cut and paste to edit the potential goal statements or create new goal statements from scratch. They could participate in all four pillar stations or select the one(s) most relevant to them.

The strategic planning group then collected the responses and fed them into a survey tool for analysis. The result was a clear indication of staff perceptions of the importance of each goal statement, within the context of each pillar. This information was used to draft the strategic plan goal statements, intended to be representative of and relevant to the goals and priorities of our library staff.

For our presentation, we will introduce the concept and lead attendees in a goalstorming exercise to establish a sense of their goals for attending the session. Our presentation will then be centered on meeting the attendees’ goals. Generally, we will share the details of goalstorming in our strategic planning process, the challenges we faced, and the outcomes.


goals, strategic planning, library, librarian, staff


Copyright © 2016 the authors

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.