2016 Conference Highlights – Act to the Future: Utilizing Scenario Planning to Shape a Strategic Plan

Each week between now and the 2016 MLA/DLA Conference, we’re highlighting one of the conference sessions sponsored by ACRL MD. The conference will be held May 4-6 at the Clarion Resort Hotel in Ocean City, MD.  For more information on the conference, please take a look at the conference program (PDF). To register, visit the MLA conference page. And follow along on social media at #MLADLA16


Act to the Future: Utilizing Scenario Planning to Shape a Strategic Plan

Thursday, May 5th
Presenters: Christopher Lawton, Ashley Brewer & James Rhoades, Old Dominion University

As organizations strive to innovate and evolve, librarians are tasked with constructing strategies on how to move into the future. Hypothetical scenarios, in which “early indicators” are extrapolated to logical extremes, can both free the imagination and ground discussion in concrete ideas.

In summer 2014, the Old Dominion University Libraries and cross-university partners embarked on a scenario planning process using the ARL 2030 scenarios, four divergent visions of the future information environment. Strategies identified across multiple scenarios to keep the Libraries relevant in changing times were then incorporated into the Libraries’ future plan.

Scenario planning can be applied from the institutional level to the smallest projects. Come hear facilitators discuss the good, the bad, and the ugly of this innovative approach to idea generation. They will share their preconceived assumptions, anecdotal experiences, and post-assessment data. Discussion will focus on strategies for developing, facilitating, and analyzing a scenario process at your institution, and the application and benefits of incorporating scenario planning into your project plans. Leave with concrete ideas for using scenarios in your future projects, and the tools to make it happen.

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