Library Consultant

  • Strategic Examples
  • Concepts
  • Activities
  • Work

The Status Quo

Internal resources are not enough to sustain a change process. Our work is like scaffolding that provides support while the change process is vulnerable. These are not permenent structures; they are temporary projects that help the library stand on its own legs.

Library Planning Framework

Library planning creates opportunities for the organization to advance with a self directed plan. New agreements and actions, and enhanced relationships among staff, stakeholders and partners can be ironed out. Our work helps libraries create a common vision: we build on a future state.

Creating Organizational Alignment

Integrating organizational units and processes? We engage with a library knowledge through our integrated community of practice. We research information science to understand the issues under consideration.

Discussing the Data

The library program come from a variety of sources. Analyzing the data with staff and reporting the findings to the leadership gains more traction (sometimes) from an external professional information science source.

Diagrams for the Future

Using diagrams to simulate organizational connections. Sometimes we really feel the tugs and pulls of the library system.

Redesigning Processes

Creating organizational futures and developing doable scenarios requires a process that results in new strategic direction.

Workshops Provide a Venue to Meet and Greet

Our workshop participants engage in various activities to understand the library collections, staff and space needs.

Workshops Create an Open Exchange

Creating a common visible database as participants post responses to questions. Analyzing the data in groups and reporting findings.

A Series of Integrated Workshops

Our clients instinctively recognize the work required to improve library services and that successfully developing a plan requires full collaboration with the staff, partners and stakeholders.


A library plan is developed with a scope in mind. We will work with the organization to develop a characterization of the library and its services.

Understanding the Environment

The organizations leaders do not have to keep the library on the sidelines. Full, visible library participation helps leaders understand the collaboration and content issues from different perspectives. We believe effective research requires aspirations for success. We have helped many different types of organizations.

Each Team Member Provides Leadership

We believe that effective partnerships require that each stakeholder feel 100 percent responsibile for the change effort and use their expertise when required.

Not a Predetermined Solution

If management doesn't support the library, then pessimism, doubt, and distrust become a problem. Starting the process with good service data and a hypothesis provides opportunities for improvement.

Crucial to the project's success

Leadership needs to understand and be willing to work with a new set of goals. This does not start unless leadership is committed to a follow through. On the other hand, we can work within boundaries to produce trusting teams. This is not cheerleading but knowing that all of the staff have good ideas.

Maintaining Meeting Structure

We develop meeting agendas that includes purpose, boundaries, times and task. This provides our clients with a sense that it is an organized process. This is done using different strategies: structure, encouraging, and supporting different ideas.

Engaging libraries profoundly and changing their organization.

Enormous energy and expertise are created during the library planning process. In the direction of the preferred future, we provide a process to realign services and operations.

Holder of the Vision

We believe in the possibility of positive outcomes when there are service challenges. Like any good consulting team, we try to see the possibilities in the library. We challenge the staff and stakeholders to become involved in the process.

Creator of a Safe Environment

We cannot guarantee a totally safe environment, but our work does provide recommendations and requirements that can combat library space and service challenges.

We Challenged them to Think Outside of the Box

Our clients share their vision for the library, which helps them think about how to coordinate new inventive ways to improve library services.

Library Operations and Processing

We have been studying library operations and cross furtilizing ideas from both public and academic libraries for years. Our models were a watershed of ideas, data, and service analysis. It allowed everyone to explore the options.

Taking inventory

We will create a list of all library functions and build a program based on it. It helps create a foundation for future planning. After we understand existing conditions, we create plans to efficiently use the library staffs time, energies and resources


During our workshop, we provided images for the community to rank by putting tags on the vision they liked. Our workshop helped everyone participate in the planning process. It was an opportunity to build on program and foundation we created by adding input from the public.

Catalyst for a Breakthrough

Within minutes, the room was charged with community input. The open form workshop allowed the public to actively engage in the planning process.

Desktop stuff

A description note

Visions for New Library Spaces

Multidimensional knowledge models

Changing Minds (workshop example)

After the first day of workshops, the Watertown Public Library NY team had envisioned opportunities that would otherwise have remained buried under the clutter of issues. After unpacking and analyzing their service models, we challenged the library to find the most innovative ideas. Our methods continuously show that the staff are the seeds of innovation.

© 2020 Aaron Cohen Associates, LTD. Library Consultant.