Coming Soon!
Creating a Staff-Led Strategic Plan
A Practical Guide for Libraries
by Katy B. Mathuews and Ryan A. Spellman
June 2023, 217pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Libraries Unlimited

Paperback: 978-1-4408-7911-1
$74.95, £58, 66€, A103
Please contact your preferred distributor for pricing.
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-7912-8
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Teaches librarians to create authentic strategic development plans that they’ll be excited to put into action.

Helps libraries of all types create their own meaningful and authentic strategic plans while demystifying a process that can bring many benefits to the organization.

With dwindling budgets to pay for consultants and a growing interest in collaboration across the organization, libraries are increasingly taking a do-it-yourself approach to strategic planning.

This book takes a step-by-step approach to grassroots strategic planning for libraries of all types. The authors, who led a successful strategic planning process at their own library, provide practical advice and detailed information to guide library personnel through their own process. Topics include aligning with institutional and community values, creating vision and mission statements, researching stakeholder needs, conducting environmental scans, collaborative drafting of the plan, communication strategies, and implementation and assessment of the plan. Each chapter helps librarians create a strategic plan for a broad spectrum of libraries, including K–12, post-secondary, public, and special libraries. A unique feature of the book is its emphasis on the ways in which different library types can collaborate to meet shared goals.

This book is a one-stop-shop, providing everything library staff will need to create a strategic plan without searching for additional sources.


  • Understand the components of a strategic plan
  • Learn steps to complete a staff-led strategic planning process
  • Learn specific skills to conduct environmental and stakeholder research to support the planning process
  • Learn approaches to workshop and write the plan with colleagues
  • Understand how to build communication, transparency, accountability, and assessment into the plan
Katy B. Mathuews, PhD, is the senior director of administration at Ohio University Libraries in Athens, OH. She holds degrees in business administration, economics, library and information science, and higher education administration. Mathuews served on the Academic Library Association of Ohio's executive board and the Portsmouth Public Library board of trustees in Portsmouth, OH. She is a coauthor (with Daniel J. Harper) of Libraries Unlimited's Academic Library Makerspaces: A Practical Guide to Planning, Collaborating, and Supporting Campus Innovation.

Ryan A. Spellman is a library support specialist in the User Services Department at Ohio University Libraries' Alden Library. He has a master of library and information science from Kent State University and a bachelor of science in communication from Ohio University. Prior to his academic library career, Ryan spent 14 years working in a public library setting. His time in both public and academic libraries has kept him deeply involved with an array of user-centered library services.


"'Why is it teamwork when there’s work to be done, but never when there’s thinking to be done?' One of my first library mentors asked that important question, and Mathuews and Spellman have written a book to address the issue, including the 'why' and 'how' for engaging your team in a strategic planning process. This book offers highly practical advice about effective strategic planning for all libraries that not only talks about getting staff buy-in, but provides meaningful actions for ensuring it." —James M. Hill, Executive Director, Chillicothe and Ross County Public Library (OH)

"Creating a Staff-Led Strategic Plan is an easy-to-understand road map that libraries can follow. It offers practical tools for strategic innovation using the knowledge and creativity of staff members. This book is a welcome addition to the strategic planning literature and has much to commend it."—Joseph R. Matthews, Library Consultant and Author

"Mathuews and Spellman have written a must-read primer for library administrators who want to get staff of all levels involved in the strategic planning process. The authors provide plenty of salient examples, practical advice, and helpful resources to create a comprehensive, but flexible, blueprint for staff-led strategic planning. Read it cover to cover or jump to the chapters you need the most—this title has plenty to offer library leaders writing their next strategic plan." —Ann Marie Smeraldi, Assistant Director for Public Services, Michael Schwartz Library, Cleveland State University
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