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Navigating the Future with Scenario Planning: A Guidebook for Librarians
edited by Joan Giesecke, Jon Cawthorne, and Deb Pearson for ACRL
Item Number: 978-0-8389-8751-3
Publisher: ACRL
Price: $36.00
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This title is also available for purchase as an e-book or as a print/e-book bundle.

128 pages
6” x 9”
ISBN-13: 978-0-8389-8751-3
Year Published: 2015
AP Categories: P
This volume introduces and describes the use of scenario planning in libraries. Scenario planning can be used to build plausible stories about the future and to, therefore, be better able to plan, lead, and manage during uncertain times. This guidebook explains the uses of and processes for conducting scenario planning as both a futuring technique and as a planning tool. Combining practical step by step chapters with chapters on research using scenarios, Navigating the Future with Scenario Planning explains how libraries can use scenario planning tools to develop strategic agendas to help libraries to survive and thrive in turbulent times.

Edited by noted scenario planning expert Joan Giesecke with Jon Cawthorne and Debra Pearson and with contributions from Tyler Walters, this volume is appropriate for all types of academic libraries. Other types of libraries may also find this volume useful.
Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Introduction
Joan Giesecke and Jon Cawthorne
A Theory of Scenario Planning
Scenario Planning versus Strategic Planning
A History of Scenario Planning
Scenarios and Scenario Planning
Navigating the Book
Chapter 2. Scenario Planning Theories
Joan Giesecke and Deb Pearson
Scenario Planning Models
  • Schwartz    
  • Schoemaker    
  • Ralston and Wilson    
  • Lindgren and Bandhold    
  • Wade    
  • Mercer    
  • Chermack    
Designing the Scenario Planning Process
  • Organizational Readiness    
  • Identifying the Focal Issue or Question    
Identifying the Steps in the Scenario Planning Process
Choosing the Scenario Planning Team
Beginning Scenario Planning
Ranking the Forces and Choosing the Driving Forces
Developing the Scenarios
Determining the Implications of the Scenarios
A Brief Example of Scenario Development
Chapter 3. Writing Scenario Plots
Joan Giesecke and Deb Pearson
Scenario Styles
Major Plot Lines
  • Winners and Losers    
  • Challenge and Response    
  • Evolution    
Other Plot Ideas
  • Revolution    
  • Cycles    
  • Infinite Possibilities    
  • Lone Ranger    
Writing the Story
Chapter 4. Developing Strategies for Scenarios
Joan Giesecke and Deb Pearson
Developing Strategies
Displaying Strategies


Chapter 5. Using Complementary Research Methods to Enhance Scenario Planning
Tyler Walters
Scenario Planning versus Using Scenarios
Research Methods
  • Delphi Method    
  • Semi-structured Interview Method    
  • Case Study Method    
  • Semi-structured Interview Method in Case Study Construction    
  • Stratified and Purposive Sampling    
Chapter 6. Scenarios on Higher Education
Tyler Walters
International Higher Education Scenarios and Research Programs
International Scenario Drivers
North American Scenario Studies of Higher Education
International Scenario Studies of University Research Trends
University Library–Related Scenario Studies
Tips for Using Higher Education Scenarios
Chapter 7. How Scenarios Help Organizational Leaders Think Creatively about Change
Jon Cawthorne
Defining Culture and Development of Groups
Leadership for Change
Chapter 8. Scenarios for Planning with Human Resource Directors
Jon Cawthorne
The Importance of Human Resource Directors
Four Scenarios
The Case Study Institutions and Choice of Scenarios
Human Resource Directors in the Four Case Studies
  • Case A    
  • Case B    
  • Case C    
  • Case D    
Responses by the Human Resources Directors
  • Similarities across All Case Study Sites    
  • Differences across Case Study Sites    
Chapter 9. University of Nebraska–Lincoln Student Technology Fee Case Study Updated
Joan Giesecke and Deb Pearson
Student Technology Fee: A Case Study at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln
  • Background    
  • Process    
  • Identifying the Drivers for Change    
  • Linking the Key Factors    
  • Producing the Initial Mini-scenario Elements    
  • Reducing the Number of Scenarios to Two    
  • Writing the Scenarios    
  • Identifying Issues That Arise    
The Case Study Revisited
Lessons Learned

About the Editors

Joan Giesecke is the Special Assistant to the Chancellor, Dean Emeritus, and Professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She is responsible for campus wide accreditation efforts, coordinates regional accreditation processes, and participates in specialized accreditation preparation as needed.

Jon Cawthorne is Associate Dean, Public Services and Assessment at Florida State University Libraries.

Deb Pearson is Head, Libraries Facilities and Planning at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

”Very enlightening and engaging."
— College & Research Libraries

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