CEC Theses and Dissertations

Title

Creation Of A Model And A Partial Strategic Plan For The University of Texas-Pan American Library

Date of Award

1990

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Science

Department

Center for Computer and Information Sciences

Advisor

Marlyn Kemper Littman

Committee Member

Patricia B. Kistemacher

Committee Member

Thomas MacFarland

Abstract

The Library and staff at the University of Texas-Pan American was undergoing a period of great change. The number of students increased by 8% in 1989-90 and 16.40% in 1988-89. A new integrated computer system was being planned and installed. Purchases of books and other material rose to $703,000 and fell back to $466,000 during a three year period. The number of staff increased slightly during this time. Four clerks were added to the staff in 1989-90 after the number of staff had remained about the same for ten years. The number of work-study students declined by 50%.

The central issue of the study was developing a good fit between the library activities and its environment undergoing turbulent change. The development of a workable strategic plan for the University of Texas-Pan American Library was the purpose of the study in 1989-90. Strategic issues instead of objectives and goals were created from the information obtained by a WOTS-UP analysis. The issues were projected five years into the future to create a Vision of the Future. The librarians wrote yearly strategies to reach the Vision of the Future.

Research

The literature review revealed the Bryson model for strategic planning in a public organization. This model gave the alternate of strategic issues instead of goals and objectives and was used for the project. Project Development

The project called for assessment of the need for development of a strategic plan: assessment of the planning knowledge of the librarians: determination of the internal and external validity of the plan: and further development of the model for producing the plan.

The determination of the mission statement, library mandates, stakeholders of the library, assessment of the external technological, economic, demographic, political, market, competitor, and public environments was made. The human resources, operational information, and economics of the internal environment were assessed. A WOTS-UP analysis resulted in strategic issues that were joined to form a Vision of the Future.

Results

In a pretest and posttest librarians approved strategic planning’s importance by 99.72%. They approved by 90% in the pretest and 77.7% in the posttest the staff benefitting from learning strategic planning. The librarians scored higher on the posttest if their knowledge of strategic planning by a mean increase of 38.44%. Incorrect answers declined by 44.32%. Seventy-five percent of the administrators, librarians, three library administrators, and three experts, who examined the model, wrote that the model had positive internal and external validity.

The librarians produced 53 WOTS-UP statements that contained 16 threats, 22 weaknesses, 20 opportunities, and two strengths. The temporary Vision of the Future contained seventeen statements about what the future services of the library should be. The present services were rated but not to the detail to reveal areas that needed to be eliminated. Five complete strategy pages were written.

The librarians agreed there was a need for strategic planning in the library and that the library would be helped by a plan. The librarians also increased their understanding of the strategic process. The internal and external validity of the model was approved by seventy-five percent of the people asked for an opinion.

General observations made by library staff and David Mizener are the following: stakeholder analysis should yield the same results as marketing research: the mandates should be gathered by an administrator; library services should be integrated into the work of the University; the budget has only increased by inflation not by increased allocations; and there were an increasing number of students attending UTPA and they were not prepared for the use of the library.

Additional observations are the following: productivity standards should be set for each area of the library; WOTS-UP analysis should be expanded to all areas of the library; additional surveys of the library environment should be done at greater depth; library performance measures should be expanded to all areas; the Vision of the Future should be constructed by trend-impact analysis; the strategy pages met the criteria proposed by Tillis in the literature; and the creation of a strategic plan should continue at greater depth until all areas of the mission statement have been covered.

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