Boston Public Library
Strategic Planning

The BPL Compass

Access & Innovation

by Gina Perille

The sixth principle that the Boston Public Library Board of Trustees approved last December is focused on access and innovation. It states:

The BPL provides access to and training in innovative technology, electronic resources, and digital information through its own holdings and its strategic position within the wider world of knowledge.

Listed below are a series of potential outcomes the library would like to accomplish in the coming months and years related to this principle. We’d like to know what you think are the most important of these outcomes. Pick three from this list and include them in a comment so we can take your thoughts into account. In addition, as you read through these outcomes, if you think there’s something missing in the discussion of access and innovation, please suggest an additional outcome for us to add. The final two principles, along with their outcomes, will be posted soon.

  • All items and collections discoverable in online catalog
  • Develop services that fit users’ lifestyles for all ages  (i.e., Facebook logins, apps)
  • Develop and implement new technologies and train the staff and public in their use
  • Explore best practices from both peer libraries and other institutions
  • BPL is committed to providing current functional computers for staff and public
  • Continue commitment to digitize all its collections for online use
  • BPL will develop a Statewide Digital Repository for use by the libraries and cultural institutions of the Commonwealth working with partners such as Digital Commonwealth
  • Survey public to determine electronic resources most wanted by users
  • All central public service departments and branch services have weekend and evening hours
  • Electronic resources seamlessly integrated with rest of library collection
  • Develop touch-screen “stations” to encourage familiarity of BPL with low to no computer skills users
  • Share as much data about library use as possible (without compromising privacy) in order to analyze use patterns and thereby develop better service
  • Conduct coordinated literacy training campaigns focusing on technical, linguistic, numeracy, health literacy
  • Boston technology community will see BPL as a hub for web coders
  • Develop a better search engine for website [not catalog] to facilitate information searches of the website.
  • Improve ease-of-use of downloading online materials, audio, and e-books

One Response to “Access & Innovation”

  1. massappeal says:

    You’re probably already aware of this, but just in case, here’s an article about some of the interesting work the NYPL is doing in this area:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/06/what-big-media-can-learn-from-the-new-york-public-library/240565/

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