• Ron Cieslak

The current Covid-19 pandemic has changed how libraries function and serve their patrons. For many, an established service plan has had to be modified due to the necessity of social distancing and limitations on large gatherings. At a time like this, it may be appropriate to plan for what your library may look like in a post-covid world. This proactive approach to planning may involve one of the following:

  1. Facility Analysis

  2. Space Utilization Study

  3. Needs Assessment

  4. Master Facility/Site Planning

In the coming weeks, Merritt Cieslak Design will be providing an explanation of how these planning tools are used and their potential benefit.

  • Ron Cieslak

Master Planning involves analyzing your needs and begins to identify how your existing, or new facility and site can provide the necessary space to achieve your mission. A master plan can build upon a previously completed facility analysis, space utilization study, and needs assessment, or it can incorporate those elements into the master planning process. An effective master plan should address the following:

  1. Site design and flexibility for future development.

  2. Building organization and future flexibility.

  3. Conceptual costs for proposed master plan elements.

  4. Potential phasing of master plan implementation.

Master planning should incorporate flexibility for future changes in mission and needs. The best master plan is one which is adaptable to the unknown future.

  • Ron Cieslak

Have your needs changed since March 2020 and what are those needs? A useful tool in answering those questions is a Needs Assessment. A needs assessment is a process used by organizations to determine priorities, make organizational improvements, or allocate resources. it involves determining the needs, or gaps, between where the organization envisions itself in the future and the organization's current state. It usually consists of three parts:

  1. Exploration and Identification

  2. Data Collection and Analysis

  3. Evaluation and Summary of Findings

A needs assessment is the "what" that precedes the "how". It is a useful tool in determining what is preventing you from achieving your desired goals.