At the beginning of a planning project, planners should take time to discuss the motivation for doing a plan. The reasons may vary widely by participant, of course, but the perceived need often affects the outcome. It is best to understand the motivations involved.
The level of effort and commitment will be far different if the planners are committed to meeting the demands of the future than if they are preparing a plan merely to meet the requirements of a state or regional library authority.
Sometimes libraries undertake a major planning effort because of a recent scandal or a failed referendum. At other times it is because a city council member has questioned library activities.
Counties and cities frequently demand long range plans from all departments and on a regular basis.
Many libraries have established a three to five year planning cycle because they have found such plans to be useful.
Because the list of possible motivations is seemingly endless, everyone involved should understand the background of the planning process.
The library board, administration, staff and, especially, the planning committee, should all understand why the planning is taking place.
For more, see Planning Overview