Strategic Planning

The BPL Compass

Posts Tagged ‘User-Centered Institution’

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.

Survey Highlights

Posted on May 8th, 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 and use. Continuing to collect and value input from library users is an outcome that supports the User-Centered Institution principle in the BPL’s strategic plan. The goal was to collect 10,000 surveys. In the end, more than 11,000 surveys were completed. Thank you to all who took the time to share comments and feedback. We’ll be sharing highlights from the survey in this and future blog posts. We start with information about how often Boston Public Library locations and website are visited.




Central Library Renovation: Second Floor Collections

Posted on April 22nd, 2014 by Laura Irmscher in Central Library Renovation, Collections, Library Services, Major Projects

The adult nonfiction collection will cover much of the second floor of the renovated Johnson Building. This collection will provide users access to current materials on a large variety of topics, including religion, sports, history, health, and crafts, just to name a few. Users will be able to browse titles and topics that are in the most recent demand, while still having access to books in lower demand through the closed stacks and remote storage facility. In response to frequent requests by library users, the second floor will also feature a new biography collection that is separate from the rest of the nonfiction books.

Nonfiction books specifically written or designed for teens will be shelved side by side with the adult nonfiction books. This change will be a great benefit for teens using nonfiction materials. While researching a topic, teens will be able to find a larger selection of books without having to look in multiple locations. Plus, they will have close access to reference librarians to help with their research needs. Moving the teen nonfiction books into the adult area also leaves more room for leisure reading books and a place to hang out in Teen Central.

Central Library Renovation: Community Reading Area

Posted on March 26th, 2014 by Gina Perille in Central Library Renovation, Library Services, Major Projects

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 Central Library Renovation, 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.