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The BPL Compass

Posts Tagged ‘User-Centered Institution’

Central Library Renovation: Community Reading Area

Posted on March 26th, 2014 by Gina Perille in Johnson Building Study, Library Services, Major Projects
BPL2ndfloorcolorgrid

A colorized floor plan of the second floor. Boylston Street is at the bottom of the image.

The second floor of the renovated Johnson Building will include a community reading area with comfortable seating as well as work space for individual and collaborative efforts. In the accompanying image, the community reading area is in the center, bottom. A large, arched window will bring in light from Boylston Street into the reading area as will the skylights in the Johnson Building’s center atrium. Nonfiction collections will be on both sides of the community reading area and near the elevators. The second floor also includes a new children’s library (multi-colored section top right), teen central (gray section top left), and reference area (purple section middle left).

Central Library Renovation: Exterior Improvements

Posted on March 18th, 2014 by David Leonard in Johnson Building Study, Library Services, Major Projects

Two of the Central Library Renovation Project’s key goals for master planning were to: “connect the library to the city,” and “to create an inviting first impression.” To put it mildly, these are unquestionably weak spots of the original Philip Johnson design, and goals which set high expectations for the renovations on the exterior of the building.

Components of the exterior renovation, now entering their final design stages include removal of almost all of the defensive granite screens on Boylston, Exeter and Blagden Streets, some of which may have a new but subtler life as paving elements. Additional features will include remodeled entrances, more energy efficient and transparent glass, with a less imposing framing structure, exterior furniture (including bike racks) and signage allowing the library experience to truly start on the outside of the building. Another creative proposal involves the use of high-limbed trees, to add a natural counterpoint to and reduce the severity of the building, all the while retaining appropriate levels of symmetry with the McKim building.

The planning team looks forward to continue its conversations with the Boston Landmarks Commission, who have jurisdiction over certain pieces of the project, and with neighborhood groups such as the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay (NAAB) and many others. After all, statistics tell us that even today, in addition to users who consider the Central Library their main branch, 47% of all systemwide users also use the Central Library in addition to their neighborhood branch.

Rendering of the Johnson Building landscaping. Inset image: a view of Boylston Street from Exeter Corner.

Renderings of the Johnson Building exterior improvements. Inset image: a view depicting Boylston Street from vantage point of Exeter Street.

 

Compass Roundtable on User-centered Institution: Thursday, March 28

Posted on March 7th, 2013 by Gina Perille in Strategic Plan

2013BPLCompassRoundableHandoutMar28The next Compass Roundtable will take place on Thursday, March 28, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. in the Dudley Literacy Center of the Boston Public Library, located at 65 Warren Street in Roxbury. The focus will be on the User-centered Institution principle and will include information on youth outreach, the Dudley Fellowes Program, and the Xenos online language learning game. The leaders of the roundtable are JoAnn E. Butler, Coordinator of Literacy Services; Christine Schonhart, Director of Library Services, Branches; and Jessi Snow, Youth Services Coordinator.

Download and share the March Compass Roundtable flyer (PDF).

“Compass” is the name of the Boston Public Library’s strategic plan. The User-centered principle in the Compass states: 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.

User-centered Institution is the eighth 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. Boston Public Library engaged its stakeholders in a two-year, three-phase planning process prior to that Board approval.

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

Computer Systems Upgrade – Adjusting to the new ILS

Posted on December 31st, 2012 by David Leonard in Major Projects, Technology

Boston Public Library’s new Polaris system went fully live for staff on Thursday, December 13. As with any major upgrade, there were a few minor technical glitches that morning that were quickly addressed. Due to the size of our holdings, however, the online catalog took a full four days to get fully in synch with the new cleaned-up database, but was able to provide up to date availability information by December 17. Staff have spent the two weeks since correcting other minor issues with data and patron accounts, especially the holds fulfillment process. We are continuing to ask for patience and understanding from library users whose data wasn’t completely migrated and may experience a delay in fulfilling holds. All in all, the migration has been a technical success and staff are finding it easier and more efficient to use, once they become familiar with some new procedures involved. We are confident that all these kinks will be worked out in the January time-frame, which means we can move on to a larger set of enhancements to our systems, expected to deploy in the coming six months.

ILS Computer Systems Upgrade – Why so complicated?

Posted on December 28th, 2012 by David Leonard in Major Projects, Technology

The main functions of the integrated library system (ILS) are:

  • as a catalog
  • as a database
  • as library staff’s main tool for checking books and materials in and out
  • for acquiring, processing and storing items.

The ILS is also the brains of our technology system that allow patrons access to many other online services, too. When you sign up for a public session at one of the BPL’s computers or utilize the public printing systems, the print system has to check with our ILS to make sure you are in our system and are approved to use that computer or printer at that location. For example, only a children’s card can be used to access resources in a children’s space. The same goes for access to the WIFI system. Both our web-based public catalog, with its special search algorithm and relevancy rankings as well as its access to social network systems and our Museum Pass Reservation System need to do the same, as does use of OverDrive for downloadable books, just to name a few.

In all, Boston Public Library integrated and tested twenty-five separate systems and applications during the migration, a mixture of local and hosted systems. And, of course, we had to plan the migration so that we could stay open and offer as many services as possible for as long as possible. Some libraries close down for a migration of this size. If you were unfortunate enough to be one of the people who experienced a problem with access to systems or your record, or had a problem with your hold requests, we apologize. If you have let us know, we have probably either fixed or will fix the problem. For the vast majority of systems and users, the migration was largely invisible and successful. We are planning to continue making system improvements and adding other enhancements through at least June of 2013 as part of this overall systems migration project.