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What are libraries calling for OhioNet to be?

With funding from an ARPA grant from the Ohio State Library, OhioNet has been working with Management Consultant and Appreciative Inquiry Practitioner Maureen McKenna to reframe a traditional needs assessment into an opportunity exploration. Our goal was to identify the needs of libraries in a world that has been forever changed by the pandemic and our post-pandemic experiences. We conducted an exploration summit on February 24, 2022 to delve into the question, “What are libraries calling for OhioNet and other support organizations to be?”

Through paired interviews and small group discussion, we discovered that libraries are seeking support in the following areas:

  • Re-envisioning services and re-imagining physical spaces
  • Strategic planning services
  • Workplace wellbeing
  • Innovative training
  • Marketing services
  • Securing grants
  • Building digital communities
  • Technology support
  • Human resources support

Through subsequent design thinking sessions, program participants ideated and conceptualized some specifics for how OhioNet or others could support libraries in four of these areas. As a result, OhioNet is pleased to be launching a new Strategic Planning service that builds on the EXPLORE model created for the opportunity assessment. In order to pilot this service, we will be offering a complete strategic planning process as a competitive grant opportunity exclusively for a member library. Read more about the opportunity here.

Look for other exciting new services to be launched by OhioNet as a result of our opportunity exploration.

In addition to conducting our own opportunity exploration, participants experienced an immersive learning experience to replicate this exploration in their own communities, and to answer the question, “What are communities calling for libraries to be?” We are looking forward to seeing the results of their explorations!

For more information, read our full report below.

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