« Back to The Organization

Future Action Team (F.A.T.)

Calgary Public Library

Problem Statement

The current environment for Libraries is one of constant change at an unprecedented pace and scope, and the role of the Public Library in a digital future is increasingly questioned by funders and in the media. Traditional services provided by Libraries and librarians are being transformed by an information explosion, new technologies and mobile devices. How do libraries define and prepare for their future?


CPL’s Future Action Team (FAT) was established to support the development of organizational change champions and to provide opportunities for emerging leaders to influence the Library’s strategic direction. Team members have thoroughly examined local and global trends and issues, presented findings and facilitated lively discussion to establish the context that supports and engages the organization, from all levels of staff to the Board, in thinking about the future. In 2010, FAT entered a new phase, putting ideas in action across the organization, contributing to the Library’s 2012-2014 Strategic Plan, and developing an annual Futures Institute for the continuing development of CPL staff and Board.


Board Development: At the time of submission, FAT members have made 6 presentations at meetings which inform the governance and advocacy efforts of the Library Board. The result has been an increased awareness among Board Members about the implications of current and future demographic, technological and social trends on the Library. Leadership Development: Knowledge development is clearly visible among the members of FAT, who have been challenged to think strategically beyond their daily tasks, analyze current and future trends, and visualize a future for the CPL. This development has been demonstrated in presentations for staff, board, regional and national conferences, contributions to work units, and in written reports. Strategic Planning: The research and resulting ideas developed by FAT have played a key role in the development of action steps for the Library’s 2012-2014 Strategic Plan, and in the launch of a second century of service for Calgarians in 2012.