Boston Public Library
Strategic Planning

The BPL Compass

Category Archives: Strategic Plan

Final Draft of Strategic Plan

Posted on November 14th, 2011 by Gina Perille in Library Services, Outcomes, Strategic Plan

The final draft (9-page PDF) of the Boston Public Library’s strategic plan goes before the Board of Trustees on Tuesday, November 15, at their regularly-scheduled meeting. We’re posting it here and copies of the draft plan will be available at the meeting, which begins at 3:00 p.m. at the Fields Corner Branch.

Thank you to all who have made comments on this blog, attended Roundtables, and sent in suggestions via email. This document is the result of your input, gathered across more than 80 different convenings over the last two years.

Draft Compass Outcomes and Strategies

Posted on September 1st, 2011 by Gina Perille in Library Services, Outcomes, Strategic Plan

As promised, we are posting the working draft of the Compass Outcomes and Strategies Document 09012011. It is a PDF document and is 13 pages in all.

Here are some notes on the document’s structure:

  • Principles appear at the tops of pages and are ordered with roman numerals.
  • Outcomes appear beneath each principle and ordered with uppercase letters.
  • Strategies appear beneath outcomes and are ordered with arabic numbers.
  • Potential ideas for staff-developed work plans appear under strategies and in italics. It is not expected that these internal work plan notes will appear in the final document.

The next milestone in this nearly two-year planning process is for the Boston Public Library Board of Trustees to receive a copy of the draft strategic plan. That will happen on September 15. If you are able to make your comments before that date – either via email to compass@bpl.org or as a post on this blog – we would greatly appreciate it. The strategic plan will be refined by the Strategic Planning Committee and Staff Compass Committee before and after the September 15 Trustee meeting. Both groups will continue to review comments and feedback. The Boston Public Library Board of Trustees will have the opportunity to formally adopt the strategic plan at their November 15 meeting.

Please give the document a good read and let us know whether this resonates with you, is clear, and whether anything is missing.

Children & Teens

Posted on June 15th, 2011 by Gina Perille in Library Services, Outcomes, Strategic Plan

Children and teens, although quite different from each other, together make up a very important group of users and potential users of the Boston Public Library. The principle that captures this states:

The BPL fosters the love of reading and skills in critical and creative thinking among children and teens – from early literacy through mature readership – by offering a slate of services that provide academic support and intellectual growth.

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 like to know what you think are the most important of these outcomes. 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 in the discussion of children and teens, please suggest an additional outcome for us to add. More principles and outcomes will be posted next week.

  • BPL is committed to all teen/children’s spaces being safe, thoughtful, innovative, and creative; foster interaction, technology, study space, collections, programs and comfortable furniture: fun things that kids/teens want
  • Online study primers created for kids on all public computers
  • BPL focuses on life skill and information literacy for kids
  • Provide scholastic support
  • Real focus on early literacy programs (i.e. Reading Readiness, etc.), including age appropriate multi-lingual collections and collaborates with schools on this issue.
  • Literacy is for all ages, intergenerational approach
  • Offer volunteer opportunities or internship programs to get youth interested earlier
  • The BPL respects and protects the privacy of younger users
  • Youth Services system-wide coordinator – or both teen and children coordinator step up offerings for teens
  • Youth are welcomed everywhere
  • Homework assistance is continued
  • Regular story times in every branch
  • Teen Advisory Boards ensure youth leadership/direction
  • Established goals to build sustainable programs with local teachers/schools in walking distance of branches
  • Commit to sufficient teen/children librarians to allow them time to develop relations with youth. Add para or librarian costs for youth services.
  • Separate spaces and resources for children and teens.

Center of Knowledge

Posted on June 3rd, 2011 by Michael Colford in Library Services, Outcomes, Strategic Plan

Center of Knowledge refers to all the information held by the library in our various collections and digital resources, and how we serve researchers, students and lifelong learners.  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. 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.  More principles and outcomes next week!

  • BPL creates and maintains an online space for users to contribute their specialized knowledge to enhance services
  • Collects community-responsive/reflective collections that are the appropriate size and creates fun and exciting displays to highlight different parts of the collection
  • Maximize the use of existing collections and collect in formats and topics that will be used (and not in those that won’t)
  • Engage in civic education, and espouse democracy to create an informed citizens
  • BPL creates a link between our cultural heritage and our collections by growing them as appropriate, sharing them among libraries, and focusing on specialties
  • Encourage the role of librarians as community resources and professionals, and also as leaders
  • Be known  as the go to place for tech skill learning (entry level) for the public
  • Ability to make appointments with subject specialists in person, online, and by phone
  • Continue to gather and dispense info from City of Boston on daily, weekly, monthly events useful to customers i.e. education, jobs, life skills
  • Support and resources for lifelong learning and adult educational literacy

BPL Collections

Posted on May 27th, 2011 by Michael Colford in Library Services, Outcomes, Strategic Plan

BPL Collections are the focus of this next Compass Principle.  The BPL is committed to the on going development and preservation of its distinctive special collections, which provide citizens from all walks of life with access to their common cultural heritage. 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.  More principles and outcomes next week!

  • 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 for artwork and museum-like qualities, but for vast and deep collections
  • The 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 the catalog
  • Allow closed stacks materials to circulate