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Category Archives: Strategic Plan

Survey Highlights, Part 4

Posted on June 9th, 2014 by Gina Perille in Outcomes, Strategic Plan
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BenjaminFranklinImageOne of the final questions in the library’s 2014 survey was, “If the library were a famous person, who would it be?” Thousands upon thousands of people responded. The six proper names that most often appeared were:

  1. Benjamin Franklin
  2. Thomas Jefferson
  3. Abraham Lincoln
  4. Albert Einstein
  5. John Adams
  6. George Washington

What might be more interesting to note is that the overwhelming majority of responses did not mention a proper name or individual at all. In fact, more than 3,400 survey respondents supplied descriptions ranging from a few words to multiple paragraphs. We spent time reading through the comments and were able to identify the following four themes:

  • Library for all
  • Promoter of literacy
  • Server of the community
  • Holder of knowledge

Thank you to all who participated in the survey. See other survey highlights here and here, and also here.

Survey Highlights, Part 3

Posted on May 12th, 2014 by Gina Perille in Outcomes, Strategic Plan
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Earlier this year, Boston Public Library conducted a survey that asked a range of questions about current and future library services. The survey also asked to what degree people agreed with a series of statements.

  • 49% of respondents agree or strongly agree with this statement: “I am planning to try one of the library’s free classes in 2014.”
  • 76% of respondents agree or strongly agree with this statement: “I know that the library has a lot of resources for job seekers and entrepreneurs.”
  • 93% of respondents agree or strongly agree with this statement: “It’s important for the library to offer free access to technology.”
  • 97% of respondents agree or strongly agree with this statement: “The library is important to me and my family.”
  • 98% of respondents agree or strongly agree with this statement: “The library makes a positive difference in the community.”

Ninety-eight percentOne of the final questions in the survey was about overall satisfaction with the collections, services, and programs of the Boston Public Library. Overall, 98% percent of respondents said they are either satisfied or very satisfied with the BPL.

Several survey respondents shared comments about the library. Below are just a few examples.

  • “I feel very fortunate to live in a city with such an amazing library system.”
  • “I think the public library is integral to the health and well-being of this city. Thank you!”
  • “The BPL is the embodiment of commonwealth, making me ever proud to be a citizen.”
  • “The library is doing a phenomenal job at bringing the community together and providing outstanding resources for all to use. It’s the heart of the town.”

See other survey highlights here and here.

Survey Highlights, Part 2

Posted on May 9th, 2014 by Gina Perille in Outcomes, Strategic Plan
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TopWaysToLearnEarlier this year, Boston Public Library conducted a survey that included questions about future services, methods of preferred contact, and services tried. When asked which future services library users had the most interest in, the top choices were:

  • Online classes
  • Streaming video and audio*
  • Credit card payment of fines and fees

*Since the survey’s launch, Boston Public Library introduced a streaming media service.

When asked for the top two preferred ways to learn about the library’s programs and services (chart at right shows selections; survey takers could choose up to two options), the most-often chosen answers were:

  • Library website
  • Library e-newsletter
  • Library staff

When asked which of a range of library offerings people had already tried, the top responses were:

  • Museum passes
  • E-books and audiobooks
  • Talks and lectures

Other existing offerings included were art & architecture tours, mobile catalog, the Leventhal Map Center, classes, viewing digitzed images, digital magazines, and in-library laptop lending along with “all” and “none.”

See other survey highlights here.

Survey Highlights

Posted on May 8th, 2014 by Gina Perille in Outcomes, Strategic Plan
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Earlier this year, Boston Public Library conducted a survey that asked a range of questions about current and future library services and use. Continuing to collect and value input from library users is an outcome that supports the User-Centered Institution principle in the BPL’s strategic plan. The goal was to collect 10,000 surveys. In the end, more than 11,000 surveys were completed. Thank you to all who took the time to share comments and feedback. We’ll be sharing highlights from the survey in this and future blog posts. We start with information about how often Boston Public Library locations and website are visited.

Survey_HowOftenVisit1

Survey_HowOftenVisit2

 

Life as a Service Hub for the Digital Public Library of America

Posted on March 12th, 2014 by admin in Collections, Library Services, Strategic Plan, Technology
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by Tom Blake

With millions upon millions of items to potentially digitize at the BPL, you would think we would have enough on our plates. But, in our role as a Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) Service Hub, we have taken on the digitization of collections across the entire Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Any library, archives, museum, historical society, or other cultural heritage institution in the state is eligible for this service. We have already been engaged by over 150 different institutions seeking our help get their collections digitized and made available online.

Although it might seem strange or even imprudent to take on such a task in a day when resources can be stretched thin, we believe that extending our state-of-the-art digitization services beyond our walls significantly increases the value of our own collections.

06_01_002590.LARGEThe works of Lowell Mason are a perfect example. Boston Public Library’s music department holds significant materials by this turn of the century composer and teacher, and these materials are critical in understanding the history of public music education. The Lowell Mason Foundation, a small nonprofit organization based in Medfield, requested our services to have complementary items digitized. Once digitization is complete, these items will become unified, virtually, with the holdings of the BPL via Digital Commonwealth and the DPLA. As our materials are connected to these other resources, we will have created a more comprehensive online resource for researchers who otherwise would have had to travel to multiple locations. This ability to enable a high level of discoverability for small, local collections bolsters our position as a leader and an innovator for library services. This has been our reputation since our founding and a source of pride for Boston ever since.