2014-2015 VALE Strategic Planning Process Summary

In early 2014, three members of the VALE Executive Committee (EC) began conversations about an assessment and strategic planning process for VALE. This led to a planning retreat, led by a consulting firm, New Commons, in late October of 2014, with all members invited. While this planning process did not lead to a traditional strategic planning document, it did lead to a number of considerations and actions on which the EC has taken action.

Among the key outcomes was a re-envisioning of VALE’s mission to be one that supports the member libraries (not member librarians). This led to a series of conversations with all existing VALE committee chairs, and extensive conversations among the EC. The final outcome was the EC determined that most of the existing committees should be eliminated as VALE committees and they should become informal special interest groups under VALE or they should consider affiliating with the New Jersey chapter of ACRL. In the end, all the committees chose to affiliate with NJ-ACRL or they chose to disband. The EC did determine that they would continue the VALE User’s Conference.

The VALE Executive Committee eliminated the Finance Committee and created a few new committees, all of which were to be co-chaired by EC members in order to improve communications with the EC. Those committee were:

Outreach: Oversees communications and is responsible for two subcommittees:  Website / Portal — oversees and assesses VALE’s website.  User Conference / Events –produces, oversees and assesses the Users Conference and similar

Planning and Assessment: Facilitates preparation and oversees implementation of the strategic plan; spearheads evaluation of VALE services and programs and partners with VALE committees and sub-committees to institute assessment across VALE.

Purchasing and Licensing:  Oversees and assesses group purchasing activities: identifies, evaluates and recommends acquiring databases, digital media, and productivity software; negotiates deals with vendors and reviews licenses.

There was also a committee (VALID) that focused on an open-source ILS that would be shared by interested members. Progress was underway; however, the project was disbanded in 2017 due to shifts in the industry impacting the software being used, and due to changes in the leadership at some participating libraries.

Another outcome of the strategic planning process was a conversation around the large size of the EC potentially making it more difficult to move expeditiously. The EC has not acted on this concept.

Supporting Documents from the 2015 Strategic Planning Process and activities are as follows and can be found at   (link).

Summary prepared by Scott P. Muir, October 2017