Plan of Service

Doing planning?  Need help?  Check out our planning toolkit

The Libraries Regulation requires boards to have a current plan of service, including a mission statement and goals and objectives, based on a community needs assessment.

A plan of service is more than a legal requirement; it is a great tool for managing a library.  It helps a board to govern at a strategic level.  It aligns the library with the community and helps increase use.  It builds community support and helps fundraising and advocacy.  It helps a library measure its success and identify improvements.

Creating a Plan

Library boards are responsible for planning and they can choose the approach that works best for their situations.

We highly recommend a process called Strategic Planning for Results.  It is defined in the book Strategic Planning for Results by Sandra Nelson, published in 2008 by ALA.  This approach is:

  • Designed specifically for public libraries, by leading library professionals;
  • Focused on the community and community needs;
  • Straightforward and easy to follow, with detailed instructions.

It includes a simple and easy community needs assessment that meets legal requirements, and it defines library service responses that fill community needs.

Help is Available

Sandra Nelson trains Alberta librarians at a branch-sponsored workshop

Library professionals throughout Alberta have been trained in Strategic Planning for Results and they can help your library develop a plan.  Staff from the Public Library Services Branch and the library systems can deliver training and get you started.  Facilitators are available for public needs assessment meetings.

A toolkit for planning is available that includes various resources for those involved in planning.

Samples of Alberta Library Plans of Service

Village of Elnora Library Board: a plan of service for a village with a population under 500.

Village of Hay Lakes Library Board: a plan of service in pamphlet format for a village of about 425. (Full plan)

Town of Rocky Mountain House Library Board: a plan of service for a community of about 7,000 that incorporates statistics in a graphic format.

Town of Stony Plain Library Board: a plan of service for a community of about 15,000 people.

Yellowhead County Library Board: a plan of service for a rural county with multiple service points.

  • Date modified: 2016-07-06