10:30 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.
Is your library contemplating reinventing itself in response to social, economic, and technology trends and searching for an effective process of self-discovery? This session explains how Howard County Library System and Somerset County Library System applied appreciative inquiry (AI), a philosophy of organizational change based on positive psychology and constructionist learning theory, to strategic planning to create an inclusive and participatory do-it- yourself process that transformed stakeholders from staff to customers to community leaders into strategic thinkers imagining new possibilities for their libraries. Belfont provides an overview of both theoretical foundations and action steps of Appreciative Strategic Planning, including the Discovery Stage, the Dream Stage, and the Design Stage, in a strategic plan. It is an autobiography, the next chapter in a library’s history, co-written by the stakeholders, expressing who they are, what they do, and why the library is important to their communities. Appreciative Strategic Planning locates the forces that give life to libraries—stakeholder passion, intelligence, creativity, aspirations—do not become irrelevant, and are essential to their future adaptability, resilience, and success.