What is a strategic plan?

A strategic plan is a document that sets the goals that a library, network, or other organization wants to focus on during a multi-year timeframe, usually 3 to 5 years. It is intended to help the institution move towards meeting its overall mission and vision. The MBLC recommends that every library maintain an up-to-date strategic plan as a management best practice.

Filing a plan

Upload your plan for approval: Strategic Plan Submission

Grant eligibility

In order to be eligible for construction or LSTA direct grants from the MBLC, libraries need to have a current, approved strategic plan on file. It is not a requirement for state aid or other programs offered by the agency. When applying for an LSTA direct grant, libraries may be granted an extension of up to two years beyond a strategic plan’s end date in certain circumstances. This extension is granted at the discretion of the Head of Library Advisory and Development. Note that the expired plan must be fairly recent. No extension is available for libraries seeking construction grants.

Expiring plans

If your current strategic plan has expired, contact Rob Favini for more information.

Some libraries may run into an issue where they have a current strategic plan, but it is in its last fiscal year. If they plan on applying for the LSTA direct grant round, the action plan they must submit will be based on an 'expired plan'. Libraries may do this but they must include that they plan to work on their next strategic plan in the action plan.

School libraries

School libraries may either submit a plan for their individual school library or a district-wide plan for all the school libraries. 

Multiple independent libraries

Multiple independent libraries have two options when submitting a plan. A plan can be submitted on behalf of all the libraries within the municipality. If that route is taken, all the libraries should be involved in the planning process. A plan can also be submitted by each library.

Libraries within larger organizations

Libraries may submit the organization's strategic plan for consideration (for example, a university's strategic plan, a district-wide school plan, a municipality's master plan, etc.). That plan must contain a sufficient section on the library. The Head of Library Advisory and Development will determine if the plan is acceptable in meeting that standard or if the library would need to submit its own strategic plan.

If the larger organization's plan meets the strategic plan requirement, action plans submitted by the library should focus solely on the goals that relate to the library.

Looking for a library planning & design grant or information on planning for a library construction project?
Looking for resources on developing a disaster preparedness plan?

For More Information

To learn about the strategic plan approval process, contact:

Robert Favini
617-725-1860 x237
857-488-6590 (Mobile)

To learn about strategic planning resources or training, contact:

Kristi Chadwick
Massachusetts Library System
866-627-7228 x117

Michelle Eberle
Massachusetts Library System
866-627-7228 x305