Planning: Starting your library project: working group

Once a library project is identified as being required and approved to commence, a project framework must be implemented.

Getting the right stakeholders involved and addressing issues early on in the process will ensure the success of your project. Key elements at this stage involve: investigating and applying for relevant funding opportunities; investigating co-location and joint-use development opportunities within your local area; developing a technology plan specifically for addressing local needs; assessing quantitative needs of the project including projected staffing, collection size and provision for library fitout.

Set up a working group

Coloured book display on wall with people sitting in front
Green Square Library (courtesy City of Sydney)

Establishing a working group for consultation in a development project is an established organisational method used by local government. When considering the provision of library services or preparing a Library Development Plan a working group can be formed to identify issues and advise council on actions to be taken.

Ideally this working group should comprise stakeholders who can contribute constructively to the process and provide a range of specialist advice.

Working group representatives may include:

  • nominated Project Officer/Project Manager
  • Councillors and Council Directors
  • Library Manager and key library staff
  • Council Officers from Finance, Planning, Engineering, Information Technology, Cultural Planning and Community Services, Maintenance and Facilities Management, Sustainability Management
  • community representatives
  • external Project Manager

Initial work should focus on the role of the working group and the issues to be addressed. This will ensure appropriate outcomes for all involved.

The working group will most likely evolve over the life of the project, with different stakeholders involved as the process proceeds. The initial working group involved in the planning of a library project may become smaller project management groups when the project enters the construction phase.

Appointing a project manager to deal with day to day issues and to liaise between the builder, architect and consultants is highly beneficial in many cases.

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