Boston Public Library
Strategic Planning

The BPL Compass

About the BPL Compass: Strategic Plan

Download the complete strategic plan document (9-page PDF) approved by the Trustees of the Public Library on November 15, 2011: BPL Compass Strategic Plan 11152011

The next Compass Roundtable is Thursday, May 17, at the West End Branch. The Access & Innovation Principle will be discussed. See the calendar listing and the full list of upcoming roundtables.

What’s the purpose of developing principles?

The purpose of developing principles is to establish a strategic framework that guides the BPL’s overall direction for success within the context of financial sustainability. The system-wide strategic framework will inform library services—in turn guiding priorities, staff development, resource allocation, capital plans, building programs and space allotments, collection policies, technology initiatives and support, and partnerships and fundraising.

  • Phase I was launched in November 2009 with the naming of a Trustee Compass Committee. Meetings were held with staff, the public, and affiliates including branch Friends groups, the Foundation, Map Center, and Associates. Significant information was collected via community conversations, committee meetings, staff convenings, and online blogs.
  • Phase II began in summer of 2010 and ran through the fall. The BPL engaged the community through meetings, discussions, blogs, surveys, and activities in the neighborhoods that informed the crafting of a set of Compass Principles for Excellence which were adopted by the Board of Trustees at the December 2010 meeting. Library users from across the City were active participants in discussing the principles, offering opinions and ideas during interactive, feedback-gathering exercises. Phases I and II involved 41 convenings and more than 900 participants.
  • Phase III began in March 2011 and involved another 41 new convenings and 600 more participants in the development of strategic plan outcomes.  The library’s Board of Trustees formally adopted the strategic plan in November 2011.

Download the complete document (9-page PDF) approved by the Trustees of the Public Library on November 15, 2011: BPL Compass Strategic Plan 11152011