Futures Lab

Ideating the Future

Embedding Future Forecasting into Library Strategic Planning

February 14, 2024

Melanie Huggins and Alexis Tennent

All libraries have to think about the future and plan strategically. How can libraries approach this work in an innovative, user, and community-centred way?
Join us for engaging discussions that explore how to embed future forecasting into library strategic planning. Hosted on Zoom.

  • Melanie Huggins (Executive Director of Richland Public Library in Columbia, South Carolina) opens the event with a keynote discussing innovation and strategic planning in libraries.
  • In a special presentation, Alexis Tennent (Past Innovator in Residence in Future Thinking and Foresight at the Toronto Public Library) will explore future forecasting in the context of strategic planning.
  • Our event concludes with breakout sessions for participants to connect with other public library peers as they complete an activity related to future forecasting.


Melanie Huggins is the executive director of Richland Library in Columbia, SC, which received the 2017 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor. Richland Library has been designated as a 2020, 2021 and 2022 State of SC “Top Place to Work”. Melanie is widely recognized for her contributions to communities through the platform of public libraries. She is passionate about helping organizations and citizens use human centered design to solve community problems. She is a recognized leader and global speaker in the library profession having held trustee positions with both the Urban Libraries Council and the Public Library Association, where she served as President from 2021-2022.

Whether helping other organizations lead with an equity and social justice focus, improve customer experience, design impactful spaces, or being part of an entrepreneurial city, she is led by her belief that libraries are uniquely positioned to make communities more livable, resilient, and inclusive.

Alexis Tennent is a past Innovator in Residence in Futures Thinking and Foresight at the Toronto Public Library. She has a multidisciplinary academic background in the sciences, sustainable community development, and strategic foresight and innovation. Throughout her career, she has applied this knowledge to energy conservation, economic development, and various social issues. Alexis continues to explore the challenges of futures thinking in an effort to encourage profound collective consideration of long-term futures. Her work has been recognized by the Association of Professional Futurists and featured in international conferences.

Register for the Event

Register for the session on Wednesday, February 14, 2024 at 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm EDT.

Please note that this event may be recorded and a recording of this event may be made available for CULC/CBUC library members.
This session will be available in English.