Chapter 2

CAMEO Handbook

Chapter 2 - Planning for Library Excellence

What is planning?

Planning is a simple process used every day. In the process, one decides where he is, where he wants to be, and how he gets there. Getting to work every day, grocery shopping, preparing for a vacation or trip, and saving for retirement are examples of events that require planning.

More formally, planning is an organizational process of envisioning a desired future and developing the necessary infrastructure to achieve it.

Why plan?

Overall, the purpose of planning is to achieve excellence in public library service. Some specific benefits:

What are the steps in the process?

There are many approaches to planning. Significantly, the Public Library Association published a new approach to public library planning; Planning and Role Setting for Public Libraries: A Manual of Options and Procedures (McClure et al. 1987) is designed to meet the special needs of this community. The following is a summary of the eight major steps recommended (McClure et al. 1987, 5 fig. 2).

Planning to plan


Developing roles and mission

Writing goals and objectives

Taking action

Writing the planning document

Reviewing results

"Levels of Effort" as a planning tool

Planning and Role Setting for Public Libraries introduces the concept of "levels of effort," an approach that allows library planners to adapt the process to a particular library's needs, purposes, and resources. There are three levels of effort--basic, moderate, and extensive. Any of these will result in acceptable plans.

Each library's level-of-effort choice reflects the interplay of several different factors.

A library may decide to set different levels of effort for different planning phases. The book describes the characteristics of levels of effort for each planning phase, and Section 3 outlines the overall levels of effort for the Looking-Around phase of planning. In addition, this handbook includes information on levels of effort for each Looking-Around option.

Role setting as a planning tool

Another unique feature of the planning process developed by the Public Library Association and introduced in Planning and Role Setting for Public Libraries is the concept of public library roles. Public library roles are library service profiles that describe a combination of factors in planning and include:

Chapter 4 of this handbook describes the role-setting process in more detail. The concept and process of role-setting can be used as a helpful tool in gathering information about people's perceptions of the library during Looking-Around as well as in decision-making about library priorities.

Proceed to Chapter 3- Looking Around .

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