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Aspen Institute

Because CT's Libraries Want to Remain Ahead of the CurveThe Aspen Institute describes a “new world of knowledge,” with the public library serving as a “vital learning institution and engine for individual, community, and civil society development.” While each of our communities will approach this new era differently, there are common benchmarks that can be utilized to ensure that the public library remains “the essential civil society space where this new America will make its democratic character.”

Strategic Planning Consulting

Division of Library Development staff assist library administrations and boards in developing strategic plans. We provide basic guidance in developing the plan itself including but not limited to establishing the strategy plan framework and timeline; identifying key stakeholder groups; designing a community needs assessment; creating targeted surveys, interview scripts and conducting focus groups; assessment and evaluation.

Dawn La Valle has 22 years' experience in libraries and 10 years in corporate strategy planning. She is a certified Strategic Foresight™ Practitioner and a member of the Association of Professional Futurists. Contact Dawn La Valle, Director Division of Library Development, 860-757-6665 or

Strategic Planning for Public Libraries

The Division of Library Development learned from the COVID-19 Pandemic that traditional linear strategic planning that relies heavily on historical data models to plan the future, tying a library to one "official" strategic future ultimately blind libraries to external threats and opportunities, holding tight to a structured vision and mission. In 2020, most linear strategic plans "went out the window," as the strategy did not see the pandemic coming.

DLD encourages libraries to move strategy planning beyond the traditional process of data analysis and look beyond libraries to our external environment so that we can develop robust, flexible, creative and transformative visions of the future of our libraries. Libraries can use Strategic Foresight tools like scenarios planning to develop multifaceted strategies and visions, with multiple alternative futures in tactical and strategic actions that are agile, adaptive, creative and transformative.

We live in rapidly changing world that is happening much faster that libraries can react. Disruption is perpetual, but DLD has the Foresight and tools to help you build a proactive organization that can handle being pushed from the outside while at the same time pulling our libraries to our preferred transformative nature.

Libraries that instill foresight and futures thinking into their organization are better equipped to scan the environment to identify possibilities and opportunities beyond our doors and harness them today to create more transformative libraries.

Natural Foresight® a Strategic Planning Alternative- Ask Dawn how to leverage Foresight.

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