MRG: Environmental/Community Scan
These sources are for my ongoing Management Resource Guide (MRG) project for LIS 2700: Managing Libraries & Information Systems & Services. The first topic is Environmental Scans and/or Community Relations.
We discussed environmental and community scans in LIS 2830 Marketing & Public Relations for Libraries, so I feel like I already had a fairly good grasp on the concept. Since I already had an understanding of many of the methods used in environmental scans, the articles I focused more on a “how-to” approach of conducting environmental scans instead of on “what is”, and featured some more interesting ways to go about gathering needed information from the community. The article from the UK with the toolkit and the two blogs I found were both very helpful, since they gave practical advice on conducting scans. “Musings about librarianship” in particular was great since he talked about using social media to conduct informal scans. Finding an article from a management journal was more difficult than the library journal, since non-library management articles seemed to focus on healthcare scans, and it was sometimes hard to find relevant information in these articles.
Evans, G.E. & Ward, P.L. (2007). The Operating Environment. Management Basics for Information Professionals (pp. 39-52). New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, Ltd.
Professional library journal article
Goulding, A. (2009). Engaging with community engagement: public libraries and citizen involvement. New Library World, 110 (1/2), 37 – 51.
This article discusses the evolving role of libraries as community resources, with a focus on the UK. The article focuses on a toolkit created by a consulting firm that gives libraries guidelines and resources on how best to involve their communities in “service delivery and development” (Goulding, p. 40). From the interviews of the stakeholders, the conclusion was reached that in the past, public libraries have been too user-focused, which may seem contradictory, but the keyword here is “users” which implies people who are using the library already, which I thought was interesting. Most of the stakeholders recognized that to make the public library more of a community place, they need to court the people not using the library and do this by allowing for natural community practices to occur in the library. Partnerships with the volunteer and community sector would allow for this.
Professional management journal article
Mafrica, L. (2003). From Scan to plan: how to apply environmental scanning to your association’s strategic planning process. Association Management, 55(1), 42-48.
Though this article deals with conducting an environmental scan in a professional association (in this case the Oncology Nursing Society), I found it helpful because it discusses not only how the organization conducted their scan but also how they translated their findings into their strategic plan. It discusses methods used in the scan process, who was involved in the scanning, and how the information was translated from implications into actions.
Library policies, procedures, and site
- The Bloomfield Township Public Library’s: Community Relations Policy page talks about their policy. Interesting note: the library actively seeks participation from community members in all library activities.
- Logan Heights Branch of San Diego: addresses the components of their user needs assessment plan.
- University of Wisconsin-Stout’s Environmental Scan: from 2009
- It’s all good blog: from five OCLC staff, features two posts on conducting environmental scans.
- Musings about librarianship: another blog with some ideas for conducting environmental scans using social media.