The purpose of this paper is to study whether organisations, in this case libraries, continue to plan after having done so at least once, and whether they conduct planning on a routine basis.
The websites of 71 libraries, that in 2006 had a strategic or long-term plan, were analysed to determine whether in 2016 they had a new plan in place. Where there was none or where the name of the plan had changed, e-mails were sent to the head librarian to ascertain the reasons.
A total of 71.83 per cent of the libraries in the sample had a new plan underway in October 2016, i.e., ten years later. A significant rise (+8.03 per cent) in the number of three-year plans was observed relative to 2006, perhaps because the crisis and resulting uncertainty have induced libraries to narrow their decision-making windows. A preference for the term “strategic plan”: over “long-range plan” was also detected in 2016.
The study provides empirical evidence of the existence of routine planning. The continuity of plans in a series of libraries shows that in practice planning is a systematic, continuous and iterative activity, as contended in planning theory.
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