OLA Strategic plan 2016


Oregon Library Association: A strong Oregon library network empowered locally and engaged nationally.


Strategic Planning for the Oregon Library Association, the backstory:

In 2016 the OLA board appointed a committee to look at the possible options for strategic planning. A special committee of representatives from academic, public and school libraries was formed to decide a process: whether we should do it on our own or hire a consultant. After research and deliberation the committee recommended that we hire consultants. We chose Coraggio group which has worked with several libraries in Oregon.

The Process:
A new committee (Michele Burke, Jane Corry, Berenice Creecy, Elsa Loftis, Hannah Rempel and Robin Rolfe) was formed to work with the consultants and do the actual planning. Several times in the interim, progress was reported to the board to seek input. On August 26, the board voted to adopt the plan.

As part of the planning, the strategic planning committee in concert with the board discussed what our unique role is as compared with other organizations that serve libraries and education, which is supporting and advocating for Oregon libraries and the dedicated people who support them.

OLA provides the space for:

• A diverse mix of library stakeholders to work, learn, develop, and thrive together.

• Equal access to a wide-range of professional development, education, and collaborative opportunities.

• Policy advocacy at the legislative and community level.

With Holly Volkama and Craig Tames from Coraggio, the committee explored what areas of focus we ought to concentrate on, as part of this process. These were identified as:

1.       Enhance and expand OLA professional development opportunities and programs.

2.       Improve the means and effectiveness of OLA Communication.

3.       Increase engagement in OLA and enrich the membership experience.

4.       Strengthen OLA’s leadership and advocacy role across Oregon.

For the next three years (and beyond) members of OLA will dedicate our energy to these four areas of focus. A member of the OLA board will be the champion, or go-to person for each effort and report progress to the board.

During the executive board retreat this summer, we looked at the initiatives and identified priorities to focus on. Please see below for initiatives and roughly when they will be tackled.


Year one

  • OLA Website evaluation and redesign
  • Advocacy and Leadership (ongoing)
  • Eastern/Rural Library outreach and support
  • Develop/implement targeted member outreach program
  • Institutional knowledge

Year two

  • Build broader OLA access opportunities for Library Support Staff (ongoing)
  • Re-imagine the Hotline
  • Branding/marketing
  • Quick strike projects to engage members
  • Build/improve inter-regional network relationships (ongoing)

Year three

  • Improve/assess delivery systems for professional development
  • Establish qualitative feedback for greater insight
  • Assess and design annual professional development offering (ongoing)



Please understand that this is a very simplified version of the “now what” question. The activities in year one have been targeted by the board as early projects, but may be ongoing. Initiatives in years two and three may happen sooner, it will depend on member engagement with the individual causes. There are a lot of areas of overlap between initiatives as well, so this is a rough scaffolding of project ideas.


Please read on to see the final draft (though it is a working document) of OLA’s Strategic Plan.

If you are interested and want to learn more about any one initiative, have feedback about the process or the product we have come up with, or have anything else to share, please email me at [email protected]

Linked here is a more detailed power point presentation of the OLA 2016 Strategic Plan


Thank you!.

Elsa Loftis