Strategy and planning

Last updated:  28 March 2024

Planning can encourage creativity, improve decision making, help your library identify and reduce risks, and set goals. 

The State Library has developed publications and tools to assist libraries and councils with library service planning in a range of scenarios, including future and disaster planning. Planning is necessary for daily tasks and long term goals. Strategic planning sets overall goals, providing libraries with a framework for the future and can demonstrate how your library can contribute to council’s objectives. 

Library reviews

To assist with your planning, the State Library can undertake a review of your library service to identify strengths and areas for improvement. 
Contact a Public Library Services Consultant for further information.

Tools for library planning

Service planning

Living Learning Libraries

Living Learning Libraries is an evidence based guide to the development of library services in NSW. It provides a practical basis for the comparison among library services, as well as a framework for service assessment and continuous improvement.

online book

Community needs analysis

Before starting any library planning, it is crucial to understand what your community needs and how it sees your library service.  

The library user satisfaction survey templates provide you with example questions that can be used to develop a library user survey.  

Collection planning

See the collections page for ideas and tools for collection planning and management.

Building planning

Significant planning is involved in the upgrade or construction of a library building.  

Scenario planning

Building on the bookends scenarios

Scenario planning assists organisations to anticipate and prepare for different situations that may arise.

The Building on the Bookends Scenarios report presents a series of strategies that libraries could implement to be sustainable and resilient in the future. The report tracks how public libraries have been travelling along the pathways developed in the 2009 Bookends scenarios.

The Bookends scenarios explored how the future of NSW public libraries might unfold over the twenty year period from 2009 to 2030, considering how external factors could impact public library services. In 2014 on the 75th anniversary of the NSW Library Act the State Library and NSW public libraries revisited the bookends scenarios. The project involved research, interviews and workshops with over 50 representatives from NSW public libraries, the State Library and library stakeholders to answer the question: what do we need to do in order for public libraries to be successful in 2030?

Disaster planning, response and recovery

Planning and disaster preparedness

A disaster plan can help library staff respond quickly and effectively, minimise loss and safeguard staff and library customers.

These links will help you develop local plans for disaster preparedness.

Response and recovery

After a disaster there is a limited time to deal with damaged materials.  These links provide instructions for dealing with damaged collections.

Need assistance?

The State Library’s Collection Care Branch can help with information about preserving, storing and protecting your collections. Send your questions through Ask a Librarian