One of the ways the BPL fulfills the strategic plan’s Fun principle and the accompanying outcome to “Connect people to popular books, music, films, and artwork – whether the materials are brand new or simply new to select audiences,” is through book discussion groups. Boston Public Library staff members facilitate 12 distinct book groups for adults across the BPL system. Some groups have themes – Hyde Park’s “Reading Around the World;” Parker Hill’s “books based on movies” – and some groups take turns choosing titles. Books include fiction, nonfiction, best-sellers and award-winners. The Central Library in Copley Square hosts a successful book group in Chinese. Attendance varies from intimate groups of 5 readers to the West Roxbury Branch group with 48 participants. It is wonderful to share books and reading via this core library service.
Posts Tagged ‘Fun’
Next time you walk into the Boston Public Library and find exactly what you were looking for, think of Laura Irmscher. As the library’s Collection Development Manager, she and her staff are charged with purchasing and managing everything from books, DVDs, and CDs to electronic resources such as eBooks and databases. It’s a daunting task, considering that it includes not only the Central Library in Copley Square, but all the branches.
It’s a challenge Laura embraces.
“The heart of the collections are the things people are excited to use,” she says. To decide what those things are, Laura relies on a number of sources. Many suggestions come directly from users through email, the library website, Facebook, and Twitter. She also works closely with the librarians at the various branches. “We use a lot of data about what’s being checked out to find out what the trends are,” she says. “In one branch, DVDs might need more shelving. In another branch, it might be romance.”
One thing is certain. A lot has changed since librarians relied mainly on traditional book reviews to decide what to acquire. “We look at a lot of websites and magazines,” Laura says. “We’re always taking the pulse of what people are interested in as a culture.”
As head of the communications office, Gina is responsible for the Boston Public Library’s internal and external communications. “It is always someone’s first time walking into the Boston Public Library and interacting with us online,” says Gina. “We have opportunities each and every day to introduce ourselves to new users and to demonstrate our relevance to long-time library card holders.”
One of the ways Gina has expanded the library’s conversation with the public is through social media. “Communications tools like Twitter, Facebook, and Foursquare provide the opportunity to directly connect with readers and visitors. It’s one of the elements of my job that I enjoy the most. The Boston Public Library has a lot of personality and social media is a fun way to show it.”
Gina says that there is no shortage of content to share or programs to highlight. “My colleagues never cease to amaze me with their creative programming and strong core services. Whether it’s an exhibition of the library’s holdings, a best-selling author visit, or a new literacy experience for children, there are wonderful things happening at the Boston Public Library each day.”