Boston Public Library
Strategic Planning

The BPL Compass

Category Archives: Strategic Plan

BPL’s Consolidated Archival Storage Facility

Posted on January 10th, 2013 by Mary Frances O'Brien in Library Services, Major Projects, Strategic Plan
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A key to meeting the library’s Compass principles that focus on Special Collections and the BPL as a Center of Knowledge is ensuring that the library’s unique and valuable collections are safe and accessible. Although space in Central Library totals almost a million square feet, it is still not large enough to hold the extensive collections that the library has gathered through its history.

Since the 1940s, the library has used a number of buildings to serve as storage facilities, but now we are entering the final phase of a long term project to consolidate our offsite storage space in the City of Boston Archival Center, located at 201 Rivermoor Street in West Roxbury. When completed, much of the library’s special research collection will be stored in a secure climate controlled state-of-the-art facility that will enhance the efficient storage and retrieval of books, journals, newspapers, maps, films, and archival materials. The facility is based on a high-density shelving plan and is designed around the “Harvard model” in which materials are shelved according to size. Barcodes are assigned to match each item with a specific location on a shelf. Requested materials will be retrieved by staff and delivered to the Central Library or, for some titles, to a branch location. Occasionally, if a large collection is requested, users will be welcomed to the spacious reading room which is shared with the City of Boston Archives.

For those interested in local history, the facility will be most convenient as they pursue their research into the history and culture of Boston.

Compass Roundtable on Community Gathering: Wednesday, Jan. 30

Posted on January 2nd, 2013 by Gina Perille in Strategic Plan
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The next Compass Roundtable will take place on Wednesday, January 30, at 6 p.m. in the Commonwealth Salon at the Central Library in Copley Square, located at 700 Boylston Street. Join a conversation about the Community Gathering principle with David Leonard, Boston Public Library’s Director of Administration & Technology, and Mary Frances O’Brien, the BPL’s Chief of Public Services .

“Compass” is the name of the Boston Public Library’s strategic plan. The Community Gathering principle in the Compass 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. The stated outcomes under the Community Gathering Principles are:

  • Provide library spaces that are inviting, stimulating, comfortable, clean, and safe.
  • Reimagine and redesign the BPL website to create a single location for connecting users with resources and with each other.
  • Link community members to library programs and services within the BPL system and beyond.
  • Minimize the library’s environmental impact.

Community Gathering is the seventh of eight principles that staff from the BPL have discussed with the public following the unanimous approval of the strategic plan by the BPL Board of Trustees in November 2011. The Boston Public Library engaged its stakeholders in a two-year, three-phase planning process prior to that Board approval. The final Compass principle to be discussed is the User-Centered Institution principle, which will be covered in March 2013.

Download and share the January flyer (PDF).

If you are not able to join the January roundtable, you are always welcome to leave a comment on this blog or send an email to compass@bpl.org with your ideas.

Compass Roundtable on Special Collections: Wed., November 7

Posted on November 1st, 2012 by Gina Perille in Library Services, Strategic Plan
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The next Compass Roundtable will take place on Wednesday, November 7, at 6 p.m. in the Orientation Room of the Central Library in Copley Square. Join in a discussion about the Special Collections principle with Director of Library Services Michael Colford and Keeper of Special Collections Susan Glover.

The Special Collections principle states: The BPL is committed to the ongoing development and preservation of its distinctive special collections, which provide citizens from all walks of life with access to their common cultural heritage.

The stated outcomes under the Special Collections principle are:

  1. Strengthen and grow collections that focus on existing strengths and geographic specialties.
  2. Special collections will be discoverable by users in buildings and online.
  3. Develop a digitization plan.

If you are not able to joins us in person in November, you are always welcome to leave a comment on this blog or send an email to compass@bpl.org with your ideas. There are two more roundtables to come:

  • January 2013: Community Gathering. 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.
  • March 2013: User-Centered Institution. The BPL is a user-centered institution with services that anticipate and respond to neighborhood interests and the changing demographics of the City and Commonwealth.

Specific dates, times, and locations will be published for the remaining pair of roundtables as soon as they are available.

Next Compass Roundtable: Wednesday, November 7

Posted on October 3rd, 2012 by Gina Perille in Strategic Plan
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The next Compass Roundtable will take place on Wednesday, November 7, at 6 p.m. in the Orientation Room of the Central Library in Copley Square.

On November 7, join in a discussion about the Special Collections principle with Director of Library Services Michael Colford and Keeper of Special Collections Susan Glover.

The Special Collections principle states: The BPL is committed to the ongoing development and preservation of its distinctive special collections, which provide citizens from all walks of life with access to their common cultural heritage.

The stated outcomes under the Special Collections principle are:

  1. Strengthen and grow collections that focus on existing strengths and geographic specialties.
  2. Special collections will be discoverable by users in buildings and online.
  3. Develop a digitization plan.

If you are not able to joins us in person in November, you are always welcome to leave a comment on this blog or send an email to compass@bpl.org with your ideas. There are two more roundtables to come:

  • January 2013: Community Gathering. 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.
  • March 2013: User-Centered Institution. The BPL is a user-centered institution with services that anticipate and respond to neighborhood interests and the changing demographics of the City and Commonwealth.

Specific dates, times, and locations will be published for the remaining pair of roundtables as soon as they are available.

Next Roundtable: Monday, October 1

Posted on September 4th, 2012 by Gina Perille in Library Services, Strategic Plan
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The next Compass Roundtable will take place on Monday, October 1, at 6 p.m. at the Honan-Allston Branch.

On October 1, join in a discussion about the Center of Knowledge principle with Chief of Collections Strategy Laura Irmscher and Manager of Reference & Instruction Services Gianna Gifford.

The Center of Knowledge principle states: The BPL is a center of knowledge that serves researchers, lifelong learners, and the intellectually curious through its incomparable collections, digital resources, and access to other scholarly networks.

The planned outcomes under the Center of Knowledge principle are:

  1. Develop community-responsive and neighborhood-reflective circulating collections.
  2. Develop and support a public training program that meets the needs of a wide range of communities.
  3. Support the research, scholastic, and literacy needs of the City and Commonwealth.

Download the PDF version of the October 1 Compass Roundtable flyer.

If you are not able to joins us in person in October, you are always welcome to leave a comment on this blog or send an email to compass@bpl.org with your ideas. There are three more roundtables to come:

  • November 2012: Special Collections. The BPL is committed to the ongoing development and preservation of its distinctive special collections, which provide citizens from all walks of life with access to their common cultural heritage.
  • January 2013: Community Gathering. 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.
  • March 2013: User-Centered Institution. The BPL is a user-centered institution with services that anticipate and respond to neighborhood interests and the changing demographics of the City and Commonwealth.

Specific dates, times, and locations will be published for the remaining three roundtables as soon as they are available.