Charting our Future Together

The Strategic Planning Initiative for the Free Library of Philadelphia and the Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation

Welcome to the Free Library and the Free Library Foundation's Strategic Planning Initiative page. Please click on the provided links for more information. Check back often to track our progress and learn ways you can help in shaping our future.

We are currently looking for firms and consultants. Interested?

Learn more about the RFP process

Please direct any inquiries related to the strategic planning program to

The Free Library's strategic planning initiative is funded by a grant and partnership with The Pew Charitable Trusts.
Learn more about the Pew's initiative to invest in the Free Library's future.

Strategic Planning and Overview


To produce an innovative, adaptable, measurable, and impactful three to ten year strategic plan that will guide the Free Library of Philadelphia and Foundation to its next iteration, this initiative aims to foster transparency, accountability, accessibility, and be fully participatory.

For the Free Library of Philadelphia, the initiative will be guided by the following questions:

  • How has the pandemic changed public engagement patterns with the Library?
  • While being supported by a dedicated non-profit institution, what organizational, business, and service structures are needed to create a vibrant and responsive public library system?

For the Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation, the initiative will be guided by the following questions:

  • What organizational, business, and governance structures are needed to create a sustainable and innovative Foundation?
  • How can the Foundation foster collaboration across its portfolio (i.e. the Library to the Rosenbach Museum)?


  • Strategic Plan
  • Rebranding, Communication, and Engagement Plan
  • Implementation Plan
  • DEI Plan
  • Business Plan
  • Report on Post-Pandemic Engagement Patterns

Guiding Principles


  • Participatory
  • Representative
  • Measurable
  • Innovative and Evidence Based


  • Direct and Complete Stakeholder Participation
  • Capture broad community interests
  • Track, Assess, and Quantify
  • Forward thinking, grounded in quality data, research, and best practices


  • Resource intensive and increase in decision making time
  • Risk of misrepresentation and detachment
  • Technology and Data constraints
  • Applicability and Focus

Request for Proposals

Request for Proposal PDF
Release of RFP and Solicitation Period Opens
January 2, 2024
Discussion hosted by Free Library of Philadelpia Foundation on the RFP for prospective applicants
January 10, 2024
RFP Solicitation Period Closes
February 7, 2024
RFP Application Review Commences
February 8, 2024
Notification of First Round Applicants and Interviews
February 15, 2024 to February 23, 2024
Selection and Announcement
February 28, 2024
"The Free Library of Philadelphia's mission is to advance literacy, guide learning, and inspire curiosity. Its vision is to build an enlightened community devoted to lifelong learning."
"The Free Library Foundation's mission is to provide resources and advocacy to advance the mission of the Free Library of Philadelphia while stewarding and promoting our special collections for the benefit of all Philadelphians and beyond."