Navigating the Future with Scenario Planning: A Guidebook for Librarians. By Joan Giesecke, Jon Cawthorne, and Deb Pearson. Chicago: ACRL, 2015. 128 p. Paper $36 (ISBN: 978-0-8389-8751-3).

No librarian likes to think about any potential problems that may arise in their library in the future. But how does one effectively prepare for potential future emergencies? Scenario planning, with a technique originated by Herman Kahn and the RAND Corporation after World War II, can be adapted by librarians to do contingency planning. Unlike strategic planning, scenario planning uses statistical tools and techniques to predict a variety of future outcomes of a specific event. Navigating the Future with Scenario Planning: A Guidebook for Librarians is a useful and valuable handbook that leads librarians through the process of scenario planning so that they can predict and respond effectively to potential future situations.

The authors begin with an introduction to the theory and practice of scenario planning, followed by chapters dealing with scenario planning strategies and development, with an emphasis on scenario planning in higher education. Readers will find extensively detailed chapters on how to develop and write effective plans and how to use scenario planning to successfully implement change management. Most importantly, the authors have included a case study that deals with scenario planning development and outcomes at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Charts, tables, examples, and extensive end-of-chapter references complement a very comprehensive and useful handbook. The book would be more useful if it included additional case studies, as this would provide readers with additional examples to enhance and assist them in creating their own scenario plans.

Nevertheless, Navigating the Future with Scenario Planning provides librarians with a useful guidebook for effectively creating, developing, and implementing scenario planning to help them predict and manage change as it occurs in their libraries. Highly recommended.—Larry Cooperman, University of Central Florida Libraries, Orlando, Florida


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