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DeKalb Library board prepares for strategic planning

Published: Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

DeKALB – With the library expansion getting underway in March, the DeKalb Public Library Board of Trustees met Wednesday evening with Alicia Schatteman to discuss a new strategic plan.

“I’m neutral on whatever you decide, but maybe it’s time to look at your strategic goals beyond a new building,” Schatteman said. An assistant professor at Northern Illinois University, she said she teaches nonprofit management.

“Strategic planning should be ongoing,” she told the board members present. Generally, plans are created to cover three to five years, and are reviewed regularly.

The board is continuing to plan for the $24 million expansion that will add 46,000 square feet to the 80-year-old building at 309 Oak St. Library leaders expect to start construction in March so it can open to the public in July 2015.

Schatteman kicked off the meeting by providing a readiness checklist to determine if the board is ready to create a plan.

Board member Wendell Johnson pointed out that a strategic plan was accepted by the board for 2013 through 2017. Board President Clark Neher said a large percentage of the plan had to do with the expansion.

Schatteman said the board might want to revise what’s already been created.

The bottom line, according to Schatteman, is to be clear on “what’s the end game. That’s a strategic part of how you attack it.”

She said the board has to determine how to measure the library’s success.

“You have to be clear on what you’re attempting to change or deliver,” she said.

The outcomes she said the board needs to determine should be broken into short-, medium- and long-term.

“A strategic plan doesn’t necessarily mean doing more, it may mean doing things differently,” Schatteman said.

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