Boston Public Library
Strategic Planning

The BPL Compass

Compass

Latest Blog Posts

Strategic Plan Implementation: Community Gathering

Posted on November 2nd, 2014 by admin in Outcomes, Strategic Plan
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bpl-compass-report-cover-200The Community Gathering principle is fulfilled in a variety of ways by working to serve and sustain communities through fostering thinking and learning via an engaging online presence.

Increase access to e-books and other digital content: streaming video, music, and audiobooks became available to BPL users in March 2014. The service proved immediately popular as evidenced by an approximately 20% increase in eCard registrations for several weeks after the announcement of the new service.

Implement new technologies: a new staff intranet was released in November 2013. The intranet uses the content management system Drupal as its framework and allows appropriate staff to publish content for the internal community to find, reference, and use without specialized coding skills. After a year of use by the staff, interviews, surveys, and analytics will be gathered to determine successes and failures of the project that will inform future projects, such as the redesign of public-facing web services.

Website redesign: A steering committee has been formed and a broader advisory committee will be convened, made up of representatives from many departments of the library to analyze, prioritize, and review the breadth of online properties that deliver BPL services. Deliverables include a project plan for the remainder of FY 2015 for redesign of bpl.org among other possible improvements to online properties.

Strategic Plan Implementation: Sustainable Organization

Posted on October 29th, 2014 by admin in Outcomes, Strategic Plan
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bpl-compass-report-cover-200As part of the Sustainable Organization principle, one of the library’s outcomes is to work with other libraries and related organizations to contribute to the future of librarianship. ReadersFirst and Library Simplified are two international initiatives that the BPL has been involved with since their inceptions. ReadersFirst is an organization of nearly 300 library systems representing 200 million readers dedicated to ensuring that library users have the same free and easy access to e-books that they have come to rely on with physical books. As a founding member of ReadersFirst, the BPL continues to serve on the ReadersFirst Leadership Group. In January 2013, ReadersFirst published the Guide to Library E-Book Vendors. The guide informs libraries about different e-book vendors by rating vendors in variety of different categories. Some categories include: the ability to suspend a hold, format availability, and vendor compatibility with ILS/ discovery systems like Polaris and Bibliocommons. Current projects include an updated version of the guide and a website redesign. For more about ReadersFirst or to read the guide, visit readersfirst.org.

The BPL is a partner institution in the Library Simplified project, an IMLS-funded initiative led by the New York Public Library to improve access to e-book collections through better technology and innovative lending practices. The ultimate goal of the project is to develop a mobile and tablet-based platform for e-book discovery and reading that allows users to access content in “three clicks or less.” Through partnerships with libraries across the country as well as organizations such as the Readium Foundation and the International Digital Publishing Forum, Library Simplified hopes to provide an open-source, non-commercial alternative for libraries to use to deliver e-book services. For more information, please visit www.librarysimplified.org.

Review the eight guiding principles in the Boston Public Library’s strategic plan and read the full plan, the BPL Compass.

Central Library Renovation: Upcoming Moves

Posted on October 24th, 2014 by Gina Perille in Johnson Building Study, Major Projects
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Collections are movingAnother set of moves related to the Central Library renovation takes place at the end of the month (October 2014). Additional portions of the circulating collection will be relocated from the Johnson building to the McKim building as phase two of the project truly gets underway. Phase two involves work on the Johnson building’s lower level, first floor, mezzanine, and exterior.

As always, the overall schedule and sequence is subject to change, but below is the next group of materials scheduled to move. It may be helpful to refer to the library’s current building directory while reviewing the information below. And, as always, if you are in the Central Library and are in need of assistance, you can speak to a staff member. You will see blue banners, like the one pictured at the right, near any section of the library where collections are in transit.

Coming up:

  • CDs are moving to the Arts department.
  • DVDs and Audiobooks are moving to the Orientation Room.
  • New books are moving to the Orientation Room.
  • Self pick-up of holds are moving to the McKim lower level.

There will also be collections and services moving in November along with the previously noted closing of the Boylston Street entrance. Prior to that, a ramp will be added to the Dartmouth Street entrance so that there is an accessible way to enter the Central Library.

Children’s services, teen services, and borrower services move to the McKim building in November. There will be a one-week period when the children’s and teens’ collection of books and computers are unavailable. The nonfiction collection also moves in November. There will be a two-week period when nonfiction books — other than our newest titles — will be unavailable. Once the move is complete, older nonfiction books will be available as a reserve or hold, or through paging by library staff until the renovated second floor opens (expected in March 2015).

Please continue to visit this blog and speak with library staff members for additional information. All of us greatly appreciate everyone’s continued patience during this transitional time.

Strategic Plan Implementation: Sustainable Organization

Posted on October 23rd, 2014 by admin in Outcomes, Strategic Plan
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bpl-compass-report-cover-200One of the ways the BPL fulfills the Sustainable Organization principle and the accompanying outcome “Evaluate business practices and workflow to optimize efficiency” is through streamlining workflow in the collections, technology, and resource sharing areas. With the migration to a new integrated library system and the gradual expansion of the Digital Services operations, many workflows have changed over the past few years. With the anticipated opening of the Archival Center to the public, workflows will adjust once more. Some, but not all, of the efficiencies achieved are the result of new technology. Thorough training and hands-on experience have enabled staff members to learn to complete complicated tasks quickly and efficiently.

Faneuil Branch Programming Study Launch

Posted on October 22nd, 2014 by Christine Schonhart in Branches, Library Services, Major Projects
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Vintage image of Faneuil BranchOn September 11, 2014, BPL staff, City of Boston Property and Construction Management staff, and Tappe Architects met with about 30 community members to launch the programming study for the Faneuil Branch of the Boston Public Library.

A programming study is the first step in determining branch improvements and includes a detailed analysis of collections, technology, seating, staff spaces, and mechanical needs.

Find additional information on the branch capital projects page here such as meeting notes copies of the presentations.