How We Work

Over the past several decades, ACA has developed an interactive method that includes focus groups, carousel brainstorming, and idea-generating tours. Through our Visual Scan -- a library space-planning tour -- we gain direct feedback from the library community. What is visible: a transformed library service. What lies beneath: we listened to our clients and shared our library technology, innovation and space planning knowledge. Our workshops help determine programmatic and space planning requirements, supporting development of the next-generation library.

Conditions for Success

  • Problem Solving
  • Action Planning
  • Analysis of Causes
  • Action Planning

Appreciative Inquiry

Our method best serves when there is a high level of collaboration. If an organization wants greater collaboration across functional lines, greater staff commitment and repsonsiblity and faster cycle times. We provide interviews with staff and leadership to develop the change the community wants to see.

Tough Questions

Our hypothesis is that when library plannig takes a whole system approach, the collection can be broken down into managable parts. This means that the library can make decisions about its future. It isn't determined by the special collection or one persons opinion. The process answers powerful questions.

Perseverance to Improve Libraries

Inquiry and dialogue creates rich images. Our workshops guide the library from its present performance to a hopeful and expansive plan. We foster the discovery by sharing our images and asking for input. We invite affirmations for expansion in library and information science.

Smart Libraries

There is a tool for everything. In the library world, we have the ability to do so much more with our technology management and services. With Moore's law pushing us forward, library technology will become much faster and deeper. This mean the integration can include open source and vendor specification requirements. We can provide software integration services.

Library Planning

The library building is the cornerstone of its community. We have the tools required to support your planning needs. This includes collection analysis and technology integration.

One Great Myth of Library Consulting

There are lots of librarians who have become consultants. Some have been highly successful developing their experience based as an administrator. Even though most innocent projects evoke change - we are aware of the land mines and pit falls by researching all different types of libraries.

Libraries are like open books

A Library's story is constantly being coauthored. The past, present and future are sources for learning and inspiration. We help interpret the possibilities and develop scenarios to show the implications of each option. We inquire into the nature of the library collection, efficiencies and deficiencies to build a better library organization.

Five Decades of Library Planning

Since 1972, ACA has worked on over 3,000 libraries worldwide. We develop library needs assessment for academic and public libraries, preservation centers, museums and corporate research center. ACA project list includes a wide variety of academic, public and research libraries.

© 2020 Aaron Cohen Associates, LTD. Library Consultant.