Strategic Planning

The BPL Compass

Online Roundtable Tonight

by Gina Perille

For those who are preparing for tonight’s online Compass Roundtable, here are the draft outcomes for the Boston Public Library’s strategic plan. Compass Roundtables are for all residents, citywide, and the conversation is about the whole Boston Public Library, systemwide. The chat room opens at 5:45 pm and the conversation begins at 6:00 pm.

Boston Public Library
Draft Outcomes for BPL Compass Strategic Plan

Principle 1: User-Centered Institution. 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.

A.    Eliminate barriers to use with a customer service focused philosophy that enables easy access to library services.
B.    Commit to collecting and valuing input from library users; strive for continuous improvement based on input and feedback.
C.    Enhance commitment to serving diverse users.

Principle 2: Community Gathering. The BPL exists to serve and sustain communities that foster discovery, reading, thinking, conversing, teaching, and learning, in accessible, sustainable, and welcoming facilities throughout the City, as well as with an engaging online presence.

A.    Ensure that library spaces are comfortable, clean, inviting, and safe across the City.
B.    Reimagine and redesign the BPL website to create a single location for connecting users with resources and with each other.
C.    Link community members to library programs and services within the BPL system and beyond.

Principle 3:  BPL Special Collections. The BPL is committed to the ongoing development and preservation of its distinctive special collections, which provide citizens from all walks of life with access to their common cultural heritage.

A.    Collect and develop collections of distinction that focus on collection strengths and geographic specialties.
B.    Special collections will be discoverable by users in buildings and online.
C.    Continue to preserve special collections and explore the development of an electronic preservation plan.

Principle 4: Center of Knowledge. The BPL is a center of knowledge that serves researchers, lifelong learners, and the intellectually curious through its incomparable collections, digital resources, and access to other scholarly networks.

A.    Develop community-responsive and neighborhood-reflective circulating collections that are the appropriate size.
B.    Develop and support a public training program that meets the needs of a wide range of communities.
C.    Support the research, scholastic support and literacy needs of the City and Commonwealth.

Principle 5:  Children and Teens. The BPL fosters the love of reading and skills in critical and creative thinking among children and teens – from early literacy through mature readership – by offering a slate of services that provide academic support and intellectual growth.

A.    Lead the City in providing early learning experiences.
B.    Provide scholastic support during out-of-school time.
C.    Invest in and support systemwide youth services.

Principle 6: Access and Innovation. The BPL provides access to and training in innovative technology, electronic resources, and digital information through its own holdings and its strategic position within the wider world of knowledge.

A.    Lead the nation in digitization practices.
B.    Provide state-of the art public computing spaces and skills training.
C.    The library will adhere to current and keep pace with evolving standards and thinking on accessibility for buildings, in-person access to public computing resources and to online resources.

Principle 7: Sustainable Organization. The BPL depends on sustainability of resources through a judicious stewardship of finances; active employee participation and professional development in an environment of dignity and respect; and partnerships that enrich services, expand outreach, and leverage public investment through private support.

A.    The BPL will support a staff that is diverse and enriched through professional development and training opportunities.
B.    Explore revenue streams to ensure financial stability and transparency.
C.    Seek out and establish partnerships that enhance services.
D.    The BPL will coordinate with its affiliate partners to develop and expand fundraising efforts, both large and small scale.
E.    Create ongoing marketing campaigns and initiatives that inform all residents of programs and services.
F.    Minimize the library’s environmental impact.
G.    Deliver a reliable and dynamic IT infrastructure and service model supporting all staff and user services

Principle 8: Fun. The BPL leads the way for people of all ages with recreational reading and media, invigorating programs, user-created content, and opportunities for discovery in settings that are stimulating and engaging.

A.    Embrace role as a cultural and entertainment hub in the City of Boston.
B.    Create an engaging and positive atmosphere for library users and staff.
C.    Showcase the library’s collections through vibrant, interactive exhibitions.
D.    Connect people to popular and new books, music, films, and games.