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Strategic Planning for Public Library Accreditation

The Nebraska Public Library Accreditation Guidelines are based on the principle that a good library is a library that is serving the unique needs of its own community. Therefore, the Accreditation Guidelines require that each library applying for accreditation submit a strategic plan that addresses how the library will serve those needs.

The strategic plan must be up-to-date and include the following 7 elements:

  1. The library's mission statement.
  2. A community profile.
  3. An assessment of community needs. (A library's first responsibility is to address the needs of its community.)
  4. An analysis of library strengths and weaknesses; and, an analysis of opportunities and threats outside the library.
  5. An analysis of what all this means and where the library can contribute to community progress, based on the previous 3 steps.
  6. Specific goals with measurable objectives or action plans that provide details including timelines, assignment of responsibility, etc.
  7. A plan for evaluation of accomplishment, and a summary of evaluation of previous accomplishments.
Strategic Planning Process in 12 Steps

Strategic Planning in a Nutshell (NCompass Live presentation from 2/4/2015)

Strategic Plan Examples: Key Informant Interviews -- "Bookville" Public Library

Sample Community Questions


Libraries which do not have a plan in place may use the following guide to create a strategic plan:

Strategic Planning Templates and Guides:


Fill out the 6 worksheets listed below, and then condense the results onto the final Strategic Plan Summary worksheet.  The how-to guides are meant to provide assistance. Please use them as needed.

6 Worksheets to fill out:

How-To Guides

Worksheet 1: Plan to Plan

 Why Plan?

The Planning Team


Worksheet 2: Community Profile

STATEWIDE FIGURES --  useful to compare with your community‚Äôs figures

American FactFinder


Worksheet 3: Community Needs

 Assess Community Needs

Running a Focus Group

Worksheet 4 Take Stock

 Take stock

 The Mission Statement

Worksheet 5: Develop Goals & Objectives

 Set Priorities

How to Write Smart Goals


 Project Management

Worksheet 6: Evaluation


Strategic Plan Summary


Please contact Christa Porter with questions about Accreditation via email or at 402.471.3107.

Related pages:
About Accreditation

Public Library Accreditation FAQs

12 Minimum Qualifications

Accreditation Program History

Sample Accreditation Application

List of all Nebraska Public Libraries with their accreditation standing & next accreditation year

Public Libraries Statistical Survey

For more information, contact Christa Porter.