Boston Public Library
Strategic Planning

The BPL Compass

Systemwide Youth Programming Study complete

by Christine Schonhart

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In July 2012, the Boston Public Library Foundation put out a request for proposals to assist the BPL in reviewing systemwide youth programming, program spaces, and gathering best practices from peer libraries across the country. The team from Wondercabinet Interpretive Design process included a staff survey, site visits, staff meetings and a public survey. Hundreds of comments were gathered over several months and the final report (PDF), published in June 2013, is now available.

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One Response to “Systemwide Youth Programming Study complete”

  1. B. says:

    I commend the BPL for commissioning a systemwide study, but I would like to see an end-product that does more than simply map generalized findings to the BPL’s strategic plan: yes, talking about thinking/planning systematically and achieving goals and standards is all very well and good– but I would like to see SPECIFIC findings of what constitutes an “excellent” library, in terms of how the service is actually being delivered/experienced by the patrons on an individual level. The real question is: what constitutes the IMPLEMENTATION of excellent library service? and what are the organizational/individual character traits or processes which support a successful implementation? Again: tell me what excellent service looks and feel like to an actual set/range of patrons, and then tell me how you are going to deliver it. My concern is that when librarians fall into the habit of speaking ALA-Librarian-ese, talking about our established standards and etc etc, we are actually just losing ourselves in the safe, soft wool of our professional jargon, and dodging the essential question: how does a library work, and NOT work, at our present time and in the near future?

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