Conclusions About Using Strategic Planning/ Strategic Management
McClure stated that the strategic planning and strategic management of the 1970s was not understood by the library community. Furthermore, Kemper pointed out that the employees of the library had not recognised the importance of comprehensive strategic planning and strategic management. From the examples of the targets of analysis as well, it was clear that library staff did not understand strategic management and were generally sceptical about it. Amending strategic plans as necessary is not an issue, but in the case examples, it is conceivable that the problem was the reason for making the revisions.
For example, the reason for revising the strategic plan for the University of Iowa Libraries was not due to the change in circumstances, but due to considerations that had been omitted from the start. At Pennsylvania State
University Libraries as well, revisions were unavoidable due to insufficient consideration given to certain areas as pointed out by the university. At the University Library of California at Riverside, strategic management was re-examined immediately after implementation. In each of these cases, there was a flaw in the strategic planning, and since it was pointed out that draughting the strategic plan required a long time, the circumstances of librarians’ lack of experience in formulating strategic plans is questionable.
From these facts, it is clear that from the 1970s to the 1980s, the management skills and knowledge of library managers was quite inadequate. From the fact that the number of references to strategic planning and strategic management in libraries from the 1970s to 1980s was low, this can be considered an age when strategic management was flourishing in the private sector, whereas in libraries, strategic management theory was still in its infancy. Strategic planning on site at libraries began to grow in the 1990s.
Although management skills and expertise were lacking, and despite opposition from library employees on the ground and from library managers who bore the responsibility of explaining to the organisations to which they belonged, strategic plan formulation was a definite advantage. This point was touched upon in the case of the Pennsylvania State University Libraries. In other words, the usefulness of strategic planning lay in its recognition as a tool for communication with the libraries’ affiliated institutions. This offers a glimpse into the gap in the mind-set between management and the on-site library staff.
In those times, library managers consulted the management theories of authors like Steiner or Hofer and Schendel to draft management plans. Moreover, ALA management planning was required to be long-term and objective.