12 Examples of SMART Goals for Librarians

Becoming a librarian means more than loving books. It’s a career that involves interacting with library patrons, running educational programs, and encouraging the lifelong pursuit of learning.

But there are tons of obstacles that may prevent success. Whether it is communication skills or technological literacy, librarians must strive to sharpen their best abilities.

To overcome any roadblocks that come your way, we’ll cover 12 examples of SMART goals for librarians. Developing SMART goals will set the foundation for success and enable you to verify progress over time.

What is a SMART Goal?

For those unfamiliar, SMART is a goal-setting framework that can help librarians develop practical goals. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based.

  • Specific: When setting your librarian goals, you should be as detailed as possible. For instance, instead of “I will have more people visit the library,” you could try this: “I will increase the number of visitors to the library by 15%.”
  • Measurable: You want to make your goals trackable; this criterion is critical to being a successful librarian. Otherwise, you risk losing sight of your end destination.
  • Attainable: Meeting your librarian goals and objectives shouldn’t be unrealistic. Try to find something reasonable yet somewhat challenging.
  • Relevant: Don’t underestimate the importance of aligning librarian goals with your values. Every one of your goals should help you succeed as a librarian, no matter how big or small.
  • Time-based: A deadline pushes you to accomplish your goals. If you don’t have a time frame, you’ll lack a feeling of urgency to urge you on.

Goals for librarians are best developed alongside the SMART method. By following these 5 criteria, you’ll see a higher chance of skyrocketing your librarian career.

12 Examples of SMART Goals for Librarians

Below you will find 12 SMART goals examples for librarians:

1. Increase the Number of Library Programs

“For two months, I’ll strive to increase the number of library programs offered at our library by two each month. This is intended to create more meaningful engagement with our community and to provide valuable resources for our users.”

Specific: This goal is clear and concise, stating the precise objective and desired outcome.

Measurable: By counting the number of library programs offered, the library can track how much engagement they receive.

Attainable: The goal is achievable through planning and outreach efforts.

Relevant: This relates to creating meaningful engagement with the community and providing valuable resources.

Time-based: The time allotted to complete this goal is two months.

2. Increase Visits to the Library

“I’ll aim to increase library visits by 10% over the four months ahead. I will do this by increasing our presence on social media, creating informative webinars and podcasts, and hosting events and activities at the library.”

Specific: This goal statement outlines the desired outcome (increasing visits by 10%) and how it will be accomplished (through social media, webinars, podcasts, and events).

Measurable: You’ll track the number of visits to the library each month.

Attainable: Increasing visits by 10% is definitely achievable with the right marketing efforts.

Relevant: The listed activities are designed to draw attention and increase visits.

Time-based: This goal should be completed within four months.

3. Boost the Variety of Collection Material

“I want to create a plan to increase the variety of material available in our library collection by 10% within a year. This will include researching new titles and authors, diversifying our selection to reflect a broader range of cultures and opinions, and exploring local resources.”

Specific: The SMART goal details an exact percentage to increase the variety of materials within a defined period.

Measurable: You could measure the success of this goal with a quantitative assessment of the library’s collection.

Attainable: With the right plan, increasing material by 10% is achievable.

Relevant: This is relevant to diversifying the library’s collection.

Time-based: The statement is expected to be reached within a year.

4. Implement More Technology Initiatives

“I will lead the librarians in implementing three new technology initiatives by the end of 5 months. These initiatives should make it easier to access library resources, including more digital resources and cutting-edge tools. By doing this, we’ll ensure that library patrons have the most up-to-date tools at their disposal.”

Specific: This goal is precise and unambiguous. The librarian has a plan in place to implement three technology initiatives.

Measurable: Evaluate progress by the number of initiatives that are implemented.

Attainable: This is an achievable goal with a defined timeline and direction.

Relevant: This goal is pertinent to the library’s mission of providing library patrons with current resources and tools.

Time-based: The librarian has 5 months to implement the initiatives.

5. Enhance the Library’s Website

“I want to create a more user-friendly and modern library website for 6 months. This will include improved design, more intuitive navigation, and updated content to serve library users’ needs better.”

Specific: You know exactly what you plan to improve on the library website.

Measurable: Ensure you proactively follow the three action items for success.

Attainable: This is achievable if you break it down into smaller tasks and execute them consistently.

Relevant: Perfecting the library website will help better serve the users’ needs.

Time-based: You have 6 whole months to complete the project.

6. Foster a Culture of Reading and Learning

“I will encourage a reading culture in my community by designing and leading weekly book clubs, hosting author events, and organizing school visits to promote reading. Within 9 months, I’ll develop resources and workshops to teach people the skills needed to pursue learning opportunities.”

Specific: The person is encouraging a reading culture in the community, with particular activities outlined to achieve it.

Measurable: Progress is measured by determining the number of book clubs, author events, and school visits.

Attainable: The person can realistically complete these activities in the desired timeline.

Relevant: This goal is suitable because the librarian is helping to foster a culture of reading and learning.

Time-based: A timeline of 9 months is provided to complete the outlined activities.

7. Increase the Number of Library Volunteers

“I plan to recruit 10 volunteers to work in the library within three months by reaching out to local organizations and participating in community events. I’ll also create a volunteer program handbook to help volunteers more easily understand the responsibilities.”

Specific: The aim is to gather 10 volunteers within three months.

Measurable: Check in with local organizations and participate in community events to determine your progress.

Attainable: Recruiting 10 volunteers in three months is a realistic goal for most libraries.

Relevant: Recruiting volunteers is an integral part of the library’s mission.

Time-based: Goal achievement should be achieved within three months.

8. Promote Literacy Programs for All Ages

“For 5 months, I’ll work to expand my library’s literacy program offerings. I want to create new programs specifically aimed at aiding families with young children, as well as programs to help adults improve their literacy skills.”

Specific: The SMART statement is about creating new programs to help families with young children and adults.

Measurable: You could assess the number of people participating in the new programs.

Attainable: It is possible to create new literacy programs within 5 months.

Relevant: All ages can benefit from improving their literacy, making this goal relevant to the library’s mission.

Time-based: This goal has a deadline of 5 months for completion.

9. Improve Access to Research Resources

“I’ll strive to increase access to research resources for library members by creating a web-based catalog of scholarly materials, expanding our online databases, and making our physical collections more accessible. I hope to implement these changes in 8 months.”

Specific: You want to increase access to research resources for library members.

Measurable: Make sure you follow the three listed tasks to track success.

Attainable: This is achievable because the person is taking concrete steps to improve access.

Relevant: The goal is appropriate because it aims to help library members access research resources.

Time-based: The goal is time-bound because it has a specific end date of 8 months.

10. Expand the Library’s Outreach Capabilities

“To reach more community members, I’ll develop an outreach plan that includes increased visits to local schools and businesses. Additionally, I will create an online presence via social media outlets and the library website. By the end of this year, I would like to have increased our outreach capabilities by 20%.”

Specific: The goal states the objective, what will be done to achieve it, and the timeline.

Measurable: You can determine the success of the outreach plan by tracking visits to schools and businesses and the library website’s traffic.

Attainable: This goal is possible because it’s realistic to increase the outreach capabilities over a year.

Relevant: This is essential for increasing the library’s visibility and accessibility to the community.

Time-based: There is a one-year timeline for meeting this goal.

11. Encourage Collaboration With Other Libraries

“I will work to build relationships with surrounding libraries, including our local college library. Within three weeks, I’ll reach out and create opportunities for collaboration and mentorship, such as volunteer recruitment to serve our community and share resources better.”

Specific: This is clear because the librarian has identified what they plan to do and when they will do it.

Measurable: Track your progress by keeping a list of the libraries you have contacted.

Attainable: Building relationships with other libraries is a straightforward goal and can be achieved in three weeks.

Relevant: Collaboration will promote library services, better serve the community, and share resources.

Time-based: The goal should be achieved in the three-week time frame.

12. Create a Digital Archive

“I want to make it my mission to create a digital archive of the library’s collection by the end of two years. This includes digitizing our archives and making them available to the public. This will allow patrons to access our materials and create more visibility for our library’s unique resources.”

Specific: You have a precise plan to create and implement a digital archive.

Measurable: You could confirm the percentage of archives that are digitalized.

Attainable: This is a reasonable goal, given the two-year time frame and available resources.

Relevant: Making a digital archive will make the library’s collection more accessible to patrons and create visibility for the library’s unique resources.

Time-based: You should expect goal attainment within two years.

Final Thoughts

Taking steps to define your goals will push you toward success. Don’t be shy to apply these SMART goals examples to fulfill your role and responsibilities as a librarian.

More importantly, be patient because you won’t attain your goals and objectives overnight. You would have to stay consistent over time to see excellent results. But everything will be worth it when you finally reach your full potential.

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Rei Shen

Rei is the founder of Success in Depth. Based in Washington, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. He brings years of experience in goal setting to empower readers to reach their aspirations.