Boston Public Library
Strategic Planning

The BPL Compass

Posts Tagged ‘User-Centered Institution’

Central Library Renovation: You asked. We’re answering.

Posted on October 9th, 2014 by Michael Colford in Johnson Building Study, Library Services, Major Projects

The library receives a great many questions and suggestions through a variety of channels, including our classic suggestion boxes near the entrances to the Central Library. We also collected for many months questions and requests about the Central Library renovation via a display in the Johnson building. Here we bring you an updated summary of some of the most often asked questions about what is to come. Thank you to everyone who has written, called, and commented.

More bike racks! Please!

You got it. The renovated exterior of the Johnson building will feature four times as many bicycle parking spaces than is currently allotted. Currently there are 8 bike racks, holding 16 bikes. After the renovation, there will be 36 bike racks available, able to accommodate 72 bikes.

Power, Outlets – Will you be adding more places to plug in phones and laptops?

Absolutely. This was one of the most-requested things even before the renovation project got started. There will be a significant increase in power available in the Johnson building. We will be adding outlets and running power to specific furnishings so that individual devices can be charged from variety of locations.

Furnishings – Are there plans for more individual work tables? What about comfortable seating?

Yes. The first phase of construction calls for new, durable seating around the second-floor atrium and a large grouping of chair and table options within the nonfiction collection (also on the second floor). The chairs will be a mix of upholstered and non-upholstered options.

Restrooms – Will you add more bathrooms, please?

We certainly will. The first phase of construction includes new bathrooms on the second floor and in the children’s library. Later phases include new bathrooms on the first floor.

Sidewalk – Why not replace the brick sidewalk with something safer?

That is a terrific idea and is included in later phases of the project. The exterior of the Johnson building is landmarked so we are in careful consultant with the Landmarks Commission about the look and feel of any new landscaping. An accessible entrance is a priority.

As always, please feel free to share your ideas by commenting on this blog, sending an email to compass@bpl.org, or mailing a letter to Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston Street, Boston MA 02116.

Pay-for-Print Service Kiosks

Posted on June 25th, 2014 by David Leonard in Branches, Library Services, Major Projects, Technology

KioskNew pay-for-print service kiosks will be arriving at the Central Library and the branches over the summer. At the Central Library, the kiosks will be installed area-by-area throughout the building to directly replace the existing pay-for-print machines. The area scheduled for the first installation at the Central Library is Tech Central.

At the branches, the kiosks will be delivered and placed near already-identified kiosk location. A group from the library’s IT team will visit each branch once required software upgrades are ready. The IT team will demonstrate to branch colleagues how the kiosks will be used by library patrons, and will conduct training for the branch staff.

Implementing this new system has several benefits:

  • Patrons will use a single system system for printing and copying
  • Introduction of a credit card payment option, which is in response to many requests
  • An option to pay overdue fines via the kiosk
  • Submission of print jobs via mobile devices (limited initially to any laptop on the BPL WIFI network)
  • Producing satisfactory audit reports
  • Existing equipment is unreliable; a problem for public, staff, and IT support.

Survey Highlights, Part 4

Posted on June 9th, 2014 by Gina Perille in Outcomes, Strategic Plan

BenjaminFranklinImageOne of the final questions in the library’s 2014 survey was, “If the library were a famous person, who would it be?” Thousands upon thousands of people responded. The six proper names that most often appeared were:

  1. Benjamin Franklin
  2. Thomas Jefferson
  3. Abraham Lincoln
  4. Albert Einstein
  5. John Adams
  6. George Washington

What might be more interesting to note is that the overwhelming majority of responses did not mention a proper name or individual at all. In fact, more than 3,400 survey respondents supplied descriptions ranging from a few words to multiple paragraphs. We spent time reading through the comments and were able to identify the following four themes:

  • Library for all
  • Promoter of literacy
  • Server of the community
  • Holder of knowledge

Thank you to all who participated in the survey. See other survey highlights here and here, and also here.

Survey Highlights, Part 3

Posted on May 12th, 2014 by Gina Perille in Outcomes, Strategic Plan

Earlier this year, Boston Public Library conducted a survey that asked a range of questions about current and future library services. The survey also asked to what degree people agreed with a series of statements.

  • 49% of respondents agree or strongly agree with this statement: “I am planning to try one of the library’s free classes in 2014.”
  • 76% of respondents agree or strongly agree with this statement: “I know that the library has a lot of resources for job seekers and entrepreneurs.”
  • 93% of respondents agree or strongly agree with this statement: “It’s important for the library to offer free access to technology.”
  • 97% of respondents agree or strongly agree with this statement: “The library is important to me and my family.”
  • 98% of respondents agree or strongly agree with this statement: “The library makes a positive difference in the community.”

Ninety-eight percentOne of the final questions in the survey was about overall satisfaction with the collections, services, and programs of the Boston Public Library. Overall, 98% percent of respondents said they are either satisfied or very satisfied with the BPL.

Several survey respondents shared comments about the library. Below are just a few examples.

  • “I feel very fortunate to live in a city with such an amazing library system.”
  • “I think the public library is integral to the health and well-being of this city. Thank you!”
  • “The BPL is the embodiment of commonwealth, making me ever proud to be a citizen.”
  • “The library is doing a phenomenal job at bringing the community together and providing outstanding resources for all to use. It’s the heart of the town.”

See other survey highlights here and here.

Survey Highlights, Part 2

Posted on May 9th, 2014 by Gina Perille in Outcomes, Strategic Plan

TopWaysToLearnEarlier this year, Boston Public Library conducted a survey that included questions about future services, methods of preferred contact, and services tried. When asked which future services library users had the most interest in, the top choices were:

  • Online classes
  • Streaming video and audio*
  • Credit card payment of fines and fees

*Since the survey’s launch, Boston Public Library introduced a streaming media service.

When asked for the top two preferred ways to learn about the library’s programs and services (chart at right shows selections; survey takers could choose up to two options), the most-often chosen answers were:

  • Library website
  • Library e-newsletter
  • Library staff

When asked which of a range of library offerings people had already tried, the top responses were:

  • Museum passes
  • E-books and audiobooks
  • Talks and lectures

Other existing offerings included were art & architecture tours, mobile catalog, the Leventhal Map Center, classes, viewing digitzed images, digital magazines, and in-library laptop lending along with “all” and “none.”

See other survey highlights here.