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Planning

[ Planning Strategies ] [ Long-Term Plans ] [ Types of Plans ]

As a program administrator, one of the major functions of a library media specialist is to plan and manage programs that support the mission of the school. 

bulletUnderstand the system(s) in which the library media center functions,
bulletIdentify communications patterns and use appropriate communications methods,
bulletIdentify key individuals (e.g., innovators, adopter categories, gatekeepers, opinion leaders), and
bulletPlan and implement change.

Managing a library media program is requires planning.  H. Fayol's book, General and industrial management. (New York: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.; 1984) offers useful insight as to the importance of planning.  Fayol identifies 5 critical aspects of management.

bulletPlanning.  Plan what to accomplish
bulletOrganizing.  Organize necessary resources (who does what, what is needed)
bulletStaffing.  Staff organization with necessary personnel
bulletDirecting.  Direct the resources toward plan accomplishment
bulletControlling.  Control the resources by comparing actual performance to the plan (evaluation of accomplishments and cost / benefit)

If we accept Fayol's work, we see that planning is the foundation of all other management functions because it defines the steps that are needed to achieve the program's objectives.  Planning:

bulletShapes roles and responsibilities
bulletGives direction to allocation, organization, and management of physical and human resources
bulletFocuses attention on program effectiveness and efficiency
bulletProvides accountability
bulletEstablishes priorities
bulletProvides information for evaluation of decisions
bulletProvides future orientation while dealing with the present continual process

Planning Strategies

Mike Eisenberg has modified the problem-solving process to provide a process for planning in the library media program.  The feedback loop is really the key, at any step of the process the process can be reconsidered and modified.  The steps include:
  
Problem Solving Model Eisenberg's Six-Stage Strategy
Accept the solution/problem (is it an immediate, solvable problem?)  Review existing situation (gather & analyze data)
Analyze the components (gather facts and opinions)
Define the problem Define goals and objectives (based on local situation and mission)
Brainstorm alternatives 
Select solution most likely to succeed based on feasibility analysis  Set up support systems

Conduct feasibility analysis

Implement solution  Develop plans and implement
Evaluate if problem was adequately solved Evaluate plans and processes

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Long-Term Plans

According to Section 121.02(h) of the Wisconsin Statutes, "There shall be on file a written school board approved long-range plan for media services development formulated by students, teachers, library and audiovisual personnel, and administrators."  

Library media specialists in a district need to work together to develop, review and periodically update a district plan for library services. The DPI has provided guidelines and a checklist for creating these long-range plans.

This plan should includes:

bulletStatement of district library media program philosophy,
bulletStatus report which covers program, collection, staff, facilities, and equipment at the building and district levels,
bulletResults of a needs assessment upon which recommendations are based,
bulletTimeline either by date or by phase within which certain objectives will be accomplished,
bulletProvision for appropriate development, distribution, use and evaluation of library media collection and equipment,
bulletExplanation of existing policies and of policies to be developed or revised, including those covering materials selection, copyright and ILL, and
bulletRecommendations for improvement covering library media programs, staff, collections, equipment, and facilities.

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Combined Library Media Technology Plan

In a presentation of a draft of these guidelines at GWETC on October 10, 2002, Kathy Boguszewski and Stuart Ciske of DPI asked for feedback.  A range of resources to guide development of this plan can be found on the download page of the Instructional Media and Technology Team from the form used to evaluate the plan to guidance on what goes in each section. 

The plan meets the requirements of No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, Universal Services Program (e-Rate), State of Wisconsin Statutes, Technology and Copyright Harmonization Act of 2001, and the Wisconsin Educational Technology Plan.

The plan should focus on on student achievement supported by information and technology literacy, with the major foci being:

bulletStudent achievement
bulletCurriculum development
bulletStaff professional development
bulletschool improvement

Research shows the main factors impacting the success of technology in schools:

bulletHuman and contextual factors
bulletTime for and access to pertinent training to use computers and technology to support learning
bulletSeeing information literacy and technology as a valuable resource
bulletCritical access to hardware and applications that are appropriate to the learning expectations of the activity

The following should be included in a 3-year plan:

bulletExecutive Summary
bulletIntroduction
bulletReview of research and best practices (potential resources can be found in DPI's bibliographies)
bulletVision or philosophy statement aligned with district vision and philosophy
bulletMission statement
bulletBackground information
bulletDemographics and socioeconomic factors
bulletTechnology and planning committee members
bulletDescription of the planning process
bulletCommunity resources and adult literacy providers
bulletHistory and evolution of the library and technology programs
bulletCurrent status / needs assessment (baseline data)
bulletAddressing four focus areas and status of information of the Wisconsin Model Academic Standards for Information and Technology Literacy:
bulletEducator proficiency
bulletEffective teaching and learning practices
bulletAccess to information resources and learning tools
bulletSystems support and leadership
bulletSources: enGauge, LoTI, etc.
bulletTypes of data:
bullettallies and counts
bulletratios
bulletschedules
bulletlogs and anecdotal records
bulletrunning records
bulletproducts produced for students and staff
bulletGoals (broad statements that describe the ideal instructional purpose within the timeframe of the plan based on analysis of data in the needs assessment). Potential points of emphasis:
bulletTeaching and learning opportunities for students and teachers
bulletstudent achievement
bulletteacher capacity to integrate information and technology literacy standards
bulletcriteria to assess information and technology literacy standards
bulletOpen and flexible access to information resources and learning tools (appendix K in new collaborative planning guide)
bulletFacilities and infrastructure design based on education specifications (chapter 6 in new collaborative planning guide)
bulletProgram administration including staffing
bulletObjectives for educational improvement (measurable, action verbs)
bulletImplementation action plan and budget (for each goal and its objectives)
bulletResources (what is needed to reach goals and objectives and why)
bulletHow objective will be measured
bulletWho is responsible
bulletTimeline
bulletPotential policy changes needed
bulletCost / projected budget
bulletDissemination to stakeholders
bulletHow to inform school and community of plan
bulletAdult literacy opportunities (collaboration with other adult literacy providers)
bulletMonitoring, evaluation and revision
bulletSystematic and reliable process for evaluating plan processes
bulletReporting to stakeholders
bulletProcess for ongoing long-term planning
bulletAppendices:
bulletComplications of needs assessments
bulletCalendar of planning deadlines
bulletPolicies
bulletrequired: materials selection, reconsideration, acceptable use
bulletrecommended: weeding, copyright, intellectual freedom, confidentiality, ILL, volunteer, fine and loss of materials, web publishing, disposal of hardware
bulletBibliography

The following format can be used to clearly illustrates the plan's goals and design:

bulletProblem / concern narrative
bulletGoals
bulletObjectives and strategies to achieve the goal
bulletIndicator of success evaluation

Activities or resources
Person responsible
Timeline - start and finish
Budget
       

The LMS, administrators, technology personnel, teachers & students / parents should form an advisory committee to develop the plan.  Starting with broad goals relating to the library media program and technology in education, consensus can be build and the details to support that consensus can be worked out.

The LMS should share expertise in libraries, information technology and current trends for library media centers.  This plan must then get administrative approval which will help more fully ensure that necessary resources are committed and that the plan is distributed to users. 

Top-down planning starts with the major areas of service and then develops priorities and overall tasks to be accomplished. DPI stresses the following in terms of developing goals focused on student achievement are:

bulletEffective teaching and learning practices: curriculum development
bulletEducator proficiency: staff professional development
bulletAccess to information resources and learning tools
bulletSystems support and leadership: school improvement

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Individual School Library Plan

In addition to the district-wide information and technology plan, each individual school library media specialist will want to develop a personal long-range plan that supports the district plan. This should start with the goals and activities in the district plan to create building-specific plans to see that they actually occur. Many times these will depend on actions and resources from the district, but focus specifically on what can be done locally.

In order to build flexibility into these plans, Evelyn Daniel, an expert on library media center administration, suggests a 5-year rolling plan with a detailed plan for year 1 and plans for four more years, each less specific. 

At end of year one, the LMS projects five years into future, assessing where the program is at that point in time, revising the remaining four years and adding another one on to the end. This continuous reevaluation and revision can target specific areas for more detailed planning. 

Generally in planning, more specific details are spelled out for the first year. Daniel suggests the following format for a long-range plan. 
 

 
Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
Goal
 
 
 
Objectives
 
 
 
Association Problems / Needs
 
 
 
Actions: LMS
 
 
 
Actions: Others
 
 
 
Criteria for Evaluating Success
 
 
 

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Plan Types Summarized

Different long-range plans that a district may use include: 

bulletDistrict technology plan (every 3 years)
bulletLong-range plan for the library media program
bulletIndividual library's 3-year plan that should support the mission of the school and the district's long range plan
bulletOperational planning that the library media specialist does in his/her own building each day
bulletPersonal professional development plans

The district-level plans are generally developed by a committee of administrators, teachers, library and technology staff, parents, community members, possibly students, and hopefully one or more library media specialists from the district. With the combined plan idea, it is vital that the school library media program is well represented in the planning group.

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction resources on technology planning and guidelines on developing a combined long range plan. This plan must be certified by DPI and is required if the district applies for any technology grants through the state.

[ Planning Strategies ] [ Long-Term Plans ] [ Types of Plans ]

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