Designing the Process
Inclusiveness, transparency, and two-way communication were the core principles underlying the entire strategic planning process. These principles shaped a fair and open process that built trust, strengthened internal and external communications, and engaged the entire organization in exploring feedback from the community, future trends, and staff and patron needs.

Sandra Greenstone of Enliven Consulting was engaged in September 2003 to work with the Board of Trustees, Steering Team, and Planning Team to design and facilitate the process.

Developing the Plan
The Steering Team designed the process and appointed additional working teams: the Planning Team and the Communications Team. The Planning Team began gathering data and the Communications Team began its essential work of keeping all participants informed.

The Board of Trustees, Community Representatives, staff, and patrons were all asked to give feedback regarding opportunities for growth and to identify key issues for the next six years. After each group gave input it was captured verbatim and recorded online on the AADL webpage. The staff were able to observe each other's responses to questions. Patrons also could see how others responded to the survey. And both staff and patrons could ask questions or give feedback to the Planning Team via email at any time throughout the process.

The culmination of the process was the March 8th Planning Meeting. The Board, Community Representatives, and staff - the entire organization- learned about social and industry trends, listened to the summaries of feedback from the Board, patrons, staff, and stakeholders, and gave feedback regarding the future of the library. The feedback was integrated into the final plan.

A draft strategic plan was created with help from the Planning Team, Steering Team, Department Heads and Supervisors and brought to the Board of Trustees for review and approval at their regular meetings in March and April 2004