Boston Public Library
Strategic Planning

The BPL Compass

Category Archives: Outcomes

Community Gathering

Posted on May 20th, 2011 by Michael Colford in Library Services, Outcomes, Strategic Plan

Another Compass Principle developed last fall states, The BPL exists to serve and sustain communities that foster discovery, reading, thinking, conversing, teaching, and learning, in accessible, sustainable, and welcoming facilities throughout the City, as well as with an engaging online presence. 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 love to hear what you think are the most important of these outcomes for the library to focus on.  Please 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 as it relates to the statement above, please suggest an additional outcome for us to add.  Next week we’ll be back with another principle and list of outcomes.

  • Campaign to update or renovate furnishings all locations
  • All locations comfortable, clean, inviting and safe
  • Partnerships focused on serving as venue for other organizations, unique activities
  • Allow liquids, coffee, in certain/more areas system-wide
  • Develop RFP model for programs and partnerships.  Each year BPL announces desired programming and seeks partnerships to support planned slate
  • BPL will bridge divides,  including technology, language, age, gender and different communities
  • BPL will provide collaborative opportunities to foster connections/relationships with local schools, businesses and improve coordination with city agencies such as – Boston Housing Authority, Boston Public Schools, Boston Centers for Youth and Families, Do It
  • BPL will spend time developing and fostering online communities through its catalog and social media
  • Web pages for branches highlighting their spaces, programs, staff, etc.
  • Big new signs for branches designating the branch name
  • Make sure all locations have clear sight lines – avoid shelves taller than people
  • Focus on collection strengths; fill gaps in existing collections
  • Focus on cultural heritage as it relates and is important to the non-researcher
  • The BPL is a key destination to visit and experience not only our artwork and museum-like qualities, but our vast and deep collections
  • BPL is committed to the preservation of the City’s local history and therefore will identify and develop appropriate collections in neighborhoods.
  • Collaborate with larger public community (in-house and online) to help describe collections and provide new information
  • Develop collection profiles that clearly and quickly identify holdings and ease serendipitous discovery – even place in catalog
  • Allow closed stacks materials to circulate

Help with Prioritization of Outcomes

Posted on May 13th, 2011 by Michael Colford in Library Services, Outcomes, Strategic Plan

Work is progressing nicely on the library’s strategic planning process.  We have been holding a series of staff meetings throughout the month of May to engage the staff and get their input.  In addition, we are holding public roundtables asking interested community members to weigh in on the library’s draft outcomes for the coming years.

Outcomes, also called goals, will reflect the programs, services, initiatives that the we hope to accomplish in the coming months and years.  The outcomes are organized by Compass Principle, and we are currently asking members of the public and the staff to prioritize the outcomes they feel are the most important for us to focus on.

We would also like those of you who may be reading this blog to weigh in as well.  Every few days I will post all the draft outcomes aligned with a specific principle.  Please read through these draft outcomes and let us know what your top three most important outcomes are in a comment.  Of the outcomes listed, what three do you most want to see accomplished.  In addition, if you think of an outcome you feel the library should be focusing on is not listed, please let us know.  As always, if you have any additional questions, contact us at

Watch for the first list of outcomes to appear later this afternoon!  And thanks for your help.