Crash Course in Strategic Planning
by Stephen A. Matthews and Kimberly D. Matthews
August 2013, 101pp, 8 1/2x11
1 volume, Libraries Unlimited

Paperback: 978-1-59884-482-5
$40, £31, 35€, A55
eBook Available: 978-1-61069-059-1
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Being successful depends on having a careful plan of action. This would seem obvious, but it’s easy to lose sight of when one is distracted by day-to-day tasks and “emergencies.” Additionally, the commitment of a single individual to a plan isn’t enough—the effort of an entire group guided by a cohesive directive is usually required to achieve success.

For practitioners, this text provides an easy-to-understand approach to strategic planning and execution.

The general recipe for achieving an intended outcome is equal parts of the following: clear vision and mission, a practical strategic plan, daily activities linked to the mission, and unified commitment to the plan. However, orchestrating the details of these necessary components is somewhat more complicated.

Crash Course in Strategic Planning uses a process approach to the creation of a strategic plan, providing practitioners with no-nonsense instruction on planning. The volume is arranged to lead the reader through the stages of planning, from the beginning development stages through the execution of the plan to completing the plan and attaining the objective. A variety of recommended planning techniques are supplied for groups to use to accomplish their planning goals, and the final chapter emphasizes the importance of overall organizational commitment to execution of the plan.


  • Presents a step-by-step, process-oriented approach for practitioners
  • Provides examples of measurements and evaluations of plans
  • Includes illustrations for levels of planning, planning cycle, and examples of helpful charts
Stephen A. Matthews, PhD, MLS, is a rural library consultant at the Utah State Library, where he consults with 12 small and rural library staff and boards, and was project coordinator during its 2012 development of a new strategic plan. He holds a doctorate in adult, occupational, and continuing education from Kansas State University, and earned a master's degree in library science at Emporia State University. Matthews and his wife operated Matthews Education Consulting, a provider of consulting and training services in education technology and technology-based educational products.

Kimberly D. Matthews, MLS, MBA, is executive director of the Trenton Free Public Library, which she led through two recent downsizings due to budget cuts of nearly 50 percent. She has reengineered all internal processes for increased fiscal responsibility and economy of resources, and implemented new policies for all areas of service and operation. Matthews has served on the board of LYRASIS and the Central NJ Regional Library Cooperative. Kimberly earned her master's degree in library science from Emporia State University and her master's degree in business administration from the University of Phoenix. Her library career has included working with NASA, the Smithsonian, Washington State University, and several public library systems. Before joining the Trenton Free Public library, Matthews spent nearly a decade on the management team for the award-winning Salt Lake City Public Library.


"Truly presents the reader with a comprehensive overview of how to step into the role of the library administrator in charge of creating a vision and mission for the library. . . . This text could easily be used by the inexperienced librarian thrown into the role of library management and administration, either by choice or by necessity. The work is a great review as well as introduction to the life of a librarian, illustrating both the positive and the challenging situations."—ARBA, October 1, 2013
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