Launching Large-Scale Library Initiatives: Innovation and Collaboration

ALA Member
Item Number
ALA Editions
AP Categories
Read a sample of this book now!
1.72 MB • pdf • Download

Primary tabs

You don't need to be an ALA Member to purchase from the ALA Store, but you'll be asked to create an online account/profile during the checkout to proceed. This Web Account is for both Members and non-Members. 

If you are Tax-Exempt, please verify that your account is currently set up as exempt before placing your order, as our new fulfillment center will need current documentation. Learn how to verify here.

  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the author
  • Reviews

By proudly owning the audaciousness of the Big Idea, libraries demonstrate both their resiliency and value to their communities. This resource shares the insights and practical knowledge to make it happen.

The necessity for library leaders to demonstrate that libraries are innovative, collaborative, and can provide eye-catching, transformational services and programs to their communities cannot be understated. But libraries do not suffer from a lack of big ideas. What library workers really need is a roadmap for making those impactful ideas become reality. Based in part on her extensive experience coordinating large-scale initiatives, this guide from ASCLA Leadership and Professional Achievement Award-winning consultant Horton will walk you through formulating and shaping your ideas into sellable, actionable projects. You’ll learn 

  • techniques drawn from project management experts and researchers from many fields;
  • why Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAG) are worth your time and effort;
  • guidance on upscaling your idea into a project or service that can be launched at a statewide, community wide, or library consortium level;
  • several case studies of large-scale library projects, with analysis of why they were successful;
  • how to successfully combine foundational principles of innovation with practical methods for collaboration;
  • methods for extending your reach beyond your usual sphere to partner with other libraries and organizations;
  • how to sharpen your skills of persuasion;  
  • no-nonsense advice on leading teams of disparate individuals; and
  • evaluative tips for affirming the project is on the right track and then correcting course as needed.

Chapter 1: Going Far Together
Chapter 2: Scope, Scale, and Other Survival Guides
Chapter 3: Innovation: A Discovery Process
Chapter 4: Collaboration: An Unnatural Act
Chapter 5: Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals (BHAG)
Chapter 6: Setting the Stage
Chapter 7: The Devil in the Details
Chapter 8: The Subtle Art of Wooing
Chapter 9: Herding Cats and Other Team Fairy Tales
Chapter 10: Own Your Launch!
Chapter 11: Closing the Loop


Valerie Horton

Valerie Horton is a library consultant. She has served as the director of two library consortia: Minitex and the Colorado Library Consortium. She was also the library director at Colorado Mesa University, and worked at New Mexico State University and Brown University. In 2018 she was awarded the ASCLA’s Leadership and Professional Achievement Award. Horton received an ALA International Fellowship to automate libraries in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. She has authored or co-authored three books for the American Library Association and was the co-general editor of the journal Collaborative Librarianship.

"Libraries of all types face declining budgets and are challenged by changing technologies, and collaboration with community, professional, and institutional partners will be one of the keys to continued relevance. This book offers the inspiration and tools to successfully initiate such collaborative projects."
— Choice