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Wilbraham Public Library Strategic Plan

Introduction

The Wilbraham Public Library engaged in a new strategic planning process from April through September 2006. The library used the Public Library Association Planning for Results: A Streamlined Approach methodology to conduct this study. The Library Board of Trustees selected Vandermark Associates as consultants for this process to conduct interviews and focus groups with members of the Wilbraham community, facilitate the three meetings of the Strategic Planning Committee, and write much of the following report. The Local Community Research Group at the University of Massachusetts was hired to conduct a community survey and produce a report of the results. The Trustees also formed the Strategic Planning Committee which consisted of two trustees, the library director, and six community members. The library director and library staff wrote the Goals and Objectives based on the collected data and Strategic Planning Committee discussions.

The Goals and Objectives for the five year planning period (FY2007-2011) will be challenging for the library administration and staff to accomplish given the constraints of the present building and staffing. The library administration and staff plan to offer some new services as well as continue most of its current services. Plans include renovations to the building infrastructure for health, safety, and comfort, space reallocation to support high demand services and the selected library service responses, an increase in electronic resources to replace print materials, and a greater presence of the library in the schools and in the community.

The library wishes to thank all those involved in helping to develop this plan including the Strategic Planning Committee members—Ron Haisplip-Hansberry, Martha Rickson, Susan Bunnell, William Fogarty, Kyle Rowe, Marianne Desmond, Jim Jurgens, and Janet Shea, the ten people interviewed, focus group members, the library staff, Sunny Vandermark, and the 1,000+ Wilbraham voters who responded to the community survey.

Christine Bergquist
Library Director

 

 

Definitions

Goal—The outcome the community (or a target population within the community) will receive because the library provides programs and services to a specific service response. Objective—The way the library will measure its progress toward reaching a goal. Service Response—What a library does for, or offers to, the public in an effort to meet a set of well-defined community needs. The way to library allocates its critical resources to produce a specific public benefit or result. The selected Service Responses for the FY2007-2011 Strategic Plan are as follows:

Commons—The library addresses the need of people to meet and interact with others in their community and to participate in public discourse about community issues.

Current Topics and Titles—The library helps fulfill community residents’ appetites for information about popular cultural and social trends and their desire for satisfying recreational experiences.

General Information—The library helps meet the need or information and answers to questions on a broad array of topics related to work, school, and personal life

Information Literacy—The library helps address the need for skills related to finding, evaluating, and using information effectively.

Lifelong Learning—The library helps address the desire for self-directed personal growth and development opportunities

 

 

Mission Statement

The Wilbraham Public Library provides services and programs to educate, entertain, and enlighten its patrons.

To meet the many diverse needs of the community, the Library:

Satisfies the demand for information about contemporary issues and culture and popular recreational interests.

Fulfills the need for information on a wide range of general topics, including support for formal learning needs of students in grades K-12.

Supports the desire for lifelong learning, skill development and self-directed personal growth.

Provides the means for community members to meet and interact with each other and to participate in public discourse.

Addresses the need for skills relating to finding, evaluating and using print and non-print information effectively.

To meet the above goals the Library provides:

Responsive, qualified staff to assist library patrons.

Access to a broad selection of quality resources.

Access to current technology for persons of all ages.

A range of library programs for persons all ages.

Appropriate facilities to support services and programs.

 

 

Goals and Objectives

Commons

Goal I: Wilbraham residents will have opportunities to attend library-sponsored community events and events of local interest, to foster their awareness of and interest in the community and to increase the library’s presence in the lives of community members.

Objective A: The adult library services staff will offer at least six community programs or events annually from 2007 to 2011 that will foster awareness of local resources and issues and involve community members from teens to seniors.

Objective B: From FY2007-FY2011 the adult library services staff will conduct at least four programs annually in support of the work of local artists.

Objective C: From FY2007-FY2011 the young adult library services staff will conduct annually at least four programs or events suggested by the Teen Advisory Board.

 

Goal II: Wilbraham residents will have the necessary library facilities to conduct discussions and public forums on community issues, to afford them greater opportunities for interaction.

Objective A: By June 30, 2008 the adult library services staff will increase community use of the Brooks Room by 10%.

Objective B: From 2007 to 2011 the adult library services staff will collect and offer information about town meeting and local and statewide election issues, including books, newspaper and journal articles, online links, and other relevant materials, being careful to represent all sides of an issue.

 

Goal III: Wilbraham residents will have online access to information on community events and issues of local interest, to increase their involvement with the life of the town and foster a sense of shared responsibility and engagement with the community.

Objective A: By June 30, 2007 the adult library services staff will collaborate with the Town of Wilbraham on the creation of an online community posting board where community members can submit information about local events.

Objective B: By June 30, 2007 the adult library services staff will create a blog on the library’s website where both library staff and town residents can post library and community news, announcements, and other items of local interest and engage in discussion with each other through blog posts and comments.

Objective C: By June 30, 2008 the adult library services staff will create and promote an online community information directory of Wilbraham businesses, community groups, and individuals who offer services to the community.

Objective D: By June 30, 2011 library staff will make local information and news available in the library through a visual medium, such as a television monitor and/or electronic news board.

 

 

Current Titles and Topics

Goal I: All Library patrons will have access to a variety of current print and non-print resources to satisfy their reading, viewing, and listening needs.

Objective A: By December 31, 2006 library staff will develop a plan to ensure that the library is selecting at least 4,000 new print and non-print items of current interest and popularity on an annual basis.

Objective B: By June 30, 2007 the Assistant Reference Librarian/Young Adult Specialist will establish a Teen Advisory Board who will be involved in the current topics and titles materials selection process.

Objective C: By June 30, 2009 library staff will downsize the current topics and titles collection by at least 50% to no more than 9,000 items to provide easy access to the collection and increase space for readers’ seating.

Goal II: All library patrons will have the means to locate and peruse current topics and titles to satisfy their reading, viewing, and listening needs.

Objective A: Library staff will develop convenient shelving arrangements and attractive material displays and graphics to promote use of materials.

 

Goal III: All library patrons will have access to a variety of programs to satisfy their interests in current topics and recreational reading.

Objective A: From FY2007-FY2011 the Adult Services Librarian will foster an interest in reading among library patrons and promote use of the library’s book collection by conducting programs and supporting monthly reading discussion groups.

Objective B: By June 30 2008 library staff will increase the number of subscribers to the "Bookletters" email publications by 50% from the 2006 level.

Objective C: From FY2007-FY2011 library staff will conduct quarterly visits to Miles Morgan, Wilbraham Commons, Falcon Knoll, and The Pines as a "Library On-the-Go" initiative to deliver new materials.

Objective D: From By2007-FY2011 the library will conduct at least two patron surveys annually on specific collections (video, audio, new books, etc.) to determine user satisfaction.

 

General Information

Goal I: All library patrons will have access to information on a wide-range of general topics through a selected array of print and non-print materials, electronic resources, and library programs to satisfy their educational and informational needs.

Objective A: By June 30, 2009 the library will retain a collection of no more than 10,000 adult and children’s books on general topics to ease access to the collection and provide space for people to read, do homework, and study.

Objective B: By June 30, 2009 the Assistant Director will replace 60% of the print reference books with electronic resources that provide comparable content coverage.

 

Goal II: Wilbraham students will have materials and services that will support the schools’ curricula to fulfill their educational needs in a timely fashion.

Objective A: From FY2007-FY2011 the Children’s Librarian will select materials to support the state-mandated Curriculum Frameworks which will represent at least 10% of the children’s nonfiction print collection acquisitions.

Objective B: From FY2007-FY2011 Children’s staff will provide the information resources, assistance and educational tools necessary to support the curricular goals of Wilbraham students and teachers.

Objective C: The Assistant Reference Librarian/Young Adult Specialist will collaborate with Minnechaug Regional High School and the Wilbraham & Monson Academy to promote its electronic resources (including databases, e-books, and downloadable media) to the students and faculty, resulting in a 50% increase in usage over current levels by June 30, 2008.

 

Goal III: Wilbraham business people, job seekers, college applicants, and consumers will have the resources they need to satisfy their information needs.

Objective A: From FY2007-FY2011 the Assistant Director will enhance the business, career, college, and consumer resources to meet the information needs of the business community, job seekers, college applicants, and consumers.

Objective B: From FY2007-FY2011 the Assistant Director will annually conduct at least one program for the Wilbraham business community focusing on their interests and needs.

Objective C: From FY2007-FY2011 the Assistant Reference Librarian/Young Adult Specialist will annually conduct at least one program for Wilbraham high school students who are applying to college.

 

Goal IV: All library patrons will have access to resources and programs that will enrich and expand their awareness of the rich heritage of Wilbraham and the Pioneer Valley region.

Objective A: From FY2007-2011 the Assistant Director will conduct one program pertaining to local history annually.

Objective B: From FY2007-2011 the Assistant Director will organize and host an annual collaborative meeting with community organizations to promote common local history goals and objectives.

Objective C: The Assistant Director will review and revise the three-year Preservation Plan for the library’s Local History collection by June 30, 2008.

 

Information Literacy

Goal I: All library patrons will have access to a range of library instruction and information literacy training opportunities utilizing current technologies and showcasing library resources to obtain skills in finding, evaluating and using information effectively.

Objective A: Library staff will provide up-to-date technological support and information and instruct patrons regularly about electronic resources.

Objective B: From FY2007-FY2011 Children’s staff will increase the number of electronic resources available for children’s use by at least six annually.

Objective C: From FY2007-FY2011 library staff will test at least one technology pilot project annually.

Objective D: By June 30, 2010 the library will increase the number of computers available for children and teens by 50%.

 

Goal II: All library patrons and library staff will have clear and understandable catalog records allowing them to easily use the catalog to locate items in the library.

Objective A: By June 30, 2008 library staff, working with C/WMARS, will implement federated searching capabilities to unify access to library resources.

Objective B: By June 30, 2008 library staff will improve the library catalog records and cataloging procedures to ensure accurate and user-friendly access to all library materials.

Objective C: From FY2007-FY2011 library staff will increase efforts to inform and instruct patrons about the online catalog, databases, and online booklists by 5% annually from a baseline established in 2007.

 

Goal III: Both onsite and offsite library patrons will have the ability to learn of the range of resources available at the library.

Objective A: From FY2007-2011, adult services library staff will conduct at least two demonstrations annually of library catalog functions or electronic databases at offsite locations, such as the Senior Center, Town Hall, Town Meeting venue, or commercial establishments to be determined.

Objective B: From FY2007-FY2011 library staff will create at least two pathfinder tools, links, or other finding aids on the library website annually.

 

Goal IV: All library patrons will have access to a convenient, current, and helpful library website to meet their online library service and information needs.

Objective A: From FY2007-FY2011 library staff will revise and improve the library website annually by assessing its usefulness and convenience for online patrons.

 

 

 

Library Facilities

Goal I: Wilbraham residents will have access to a safe, healthy, comfortable and inviting library facility renovated to meet their greatest library service needs.

Objective A: By June 30, 2007 the Library Director will a devise plan to renovate the existing library facility to meet the critical needs for services and the selected library service responses through 2011.

Objective B: By June 30, 2008 the Library Director will upgrade the library’s HVAC system and install replacement windows in accordance with a plan set forth by the Capital Planning Committee.

Objective C: By June 30, 2008 the Library Director will complete an Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Response written plan and procedure for dealing with emergencies resulting in building and collection damage.

Objective D: From 2007-2011 library staff will annually develop and implement a three-year rolling technology plan to identify equipment, software, and online services to assist patrons in meeting their informational and educational needs.

Objective E: By June 30, 2009 library staff will downsize the total library collection to no more than 60,000 items.

Objective F: By June 30, 2010 library staff will establish a dedicated space for young adults, with the resources, materials, furniture, and technology to meet their academic and recreational needs.

Objective G: By June 30, 2010 the Library Director will improve the Brooks Room facilities for events and meetings.

Objective H: By June 30, 2010 the Library Director, in accordance with a plan set forth by the Capital Planning Committee, will complete the renovation of the library building to meet critical needs for services and the selected library service responses through FY2011.

Objective I: By June 30, 2011 the Library Director will provide and designate a safe outdoor gathering area for patrons.

 

 

 

Lifelong Learning

Goal I: Wilbraham residents of all ages will have access to library resources and programs to assist in the development of skills or increase in knowledge that will enhance their lives.

Objective A: By December 31, 2006 library staff will devise a five-year collection development plan to create print and non-print collections that are current and appropriate to areas of lifelong learning.

Objective B: From FY2007-FY2011 library staff will implement the five-year collection development plan by building the print and non-print collections in at least three lifelong learning subject areas annually.

Objective C: From FY2007-FY2011 the Adult Services Librarian will annually coordinate four lifelong learning programs or series for adult patrons.

Objective D: From FY2007-FY2011 Children’s and young adult staff will foster an interest in reading by conducting monthly programs supporting reading discussion groups for children and young adults.

Objective E: From FY2007-FY2011 the Children’s Librarian will conduct at least four cultural programs annually that are appropriate to community interests.

Objective F: From FY2007-FY2011 Children’s staff will conduct three series of six-week sessions of preschool story times serving at least 90 individual children annually.

Objective G: From FY2007-FY2011 Children’s staff will conduct an annual summer reading club involving at least 450 children age fourteen and under.

Objective H: From FY2007-FY2011 Children’s and young adult staff will annually produce at least one program for viewing on Wilbraham Community Television.

Objective i: From FY2007-FY2011 the Teen Advisory Board will identify one popular area of lifelong learning per year and help select materials and plan programs relevant to that topic.

 

Goal II: Wilbraham residents will have access to library programs and events offsite to increase their awareness of library services and to learn new skills or information or expand on established interests or knowledge.

Objective A: Children’s staff will establish and conduct at least one book discussion group offsite by June 30, 2007.

Objective B: From FY2007-FY2011 Children’s staff will conduct at least one story time offsite annually.

Objective C: From FY2007-FY2011 Children’s staff and young adult will collaborate with the Wilbraham schools to conduct one large event annually.

Objective D: From FY2007-2011 the Adult Services Librarian will collaborate with Wilbraham community groups and the local business community to conduct one large event annually.

 

 

Marketing and Promotion

Goal I: All library patrons will have increased awareness of library services and the library's vital role in the community to better inform them about the relevance of the library to their lives, to expand their knowledge and use of the library, and to increase their interest in its services and future growth.

Objective A: By June 30, 2007 the Library Director will increase active involvement by Friends of the Library members by ten people.

Objective B: By June 30, 2007 the Library Director will devise a marketing plan to develop and promote library services from 2007-2011.

Objective C: From 2007-2011 the Library Director and other appropriate library staff will expand community contacts by at least six local organizations and collaborate with them to promote library services.

 

 

The Planning Process

In the spring of 2006 the administration of the Wilbraham Public Library hired Vandermark Consulting to facilitate a strategic planning process for the Library. It was agreed that the process would follow the New Planning for Results: A Streamlined Approach. One of the primary requirements by the library administration for the planning process was to develop a variety of opportunities to gather resident input. Community input was considered essential in meeting community needs for library service. Community input was gathered in four ways: a survey, interviews, focus groups, and community member participation on the Strategic Planning Committee. The thoughtful insights and comments from residents have helped in the development of a Strategic Plan for the library that will make a positive difference in the lives of Wilbraham residents.

The Local Community Research Group of the University of Massachusetts developed and implemented a random sample survey of 900 registered voters. The results are available as Appendix A.

The Library administration invited ten residents to participate in a one-on-one interview with the consultant. The interviews occurred on May 6, 2006. Only nine residents were able to participate in the interviews. The questions developed were asked of each interviewee. A summary of the results is attached as Appendix B.

Library staff and trustees invited Wilbraham residents to participate in the focus groups. The consultant conducted four focus group sessions on May 20, 2006: Parents with Young Children, Senior Citizens, Teenagers/Young Adults, and Business people. Names of participants are listed at the end of this report. The questions were very similar to those asked during the earlier interviews; the same questions were asked of each focus group. Each Focus Group met for approximately 1.5 hours. A summary of the results is attached as Appendix C.

A Strategic Planning Committee composed of the Library Director, two trustees, a member of the Finance Committee/Capital Planning Committee/Major Projects Committee, a member of the Regional School Committee, the Town Administrator, the President of the Wilbraham Friends of the Library, a local business person, and a college student met three times.

At its first meeting, the committee participated in a visioning exercise identifying what they want Wilbraham to be like in ten years and a needs assessment. The Director shared detailed information about the community and the library.

At its second meeting, the committee briefly reviewed the summaries of the vision (Appendix D) and needs (Appendix E) exercises from meeting # 1, participated in a library SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis, and heard a brief overview of two national public library surveys KRC Research @ Your Library American Library Association: National Survey, and Long Overdue: A Fresh Look at Public and Leadership Attitudes About Libraries in the 21st Century.

After the presentations, the committee selected five "service responses" from a list of thirteen provided in The New Planning for Results: A Streamlined Approach. The five service responses chosen were Commons, Current Topics and Titles, Information Literacy, Lifelong Learning, and General Information. These service responses represent the services the Wilbraham Library will emphasize over the life of the plan in order to meet the needs of the community.

The library staff then proceeded to write goals, objectives, and an action plan.

At its third meeting Dr. Michael Lewis of the University of Massachusetts presented preliminary results from the community survey. The committee reviewed the draft plan, and reviewed and made minor revisions to the Wilbraham Public Library mission statement to better reflect the new service responses. The Strategic Planning Committee recommended the draft plan for approval to the Board of Trustees. The draft plan was submitted to the Board of Trustees on September 18, 2006. The final plan was approved by the Trustees and submitted to the MBLC.

 

The Planning Committee

Christine Bergquist (Library Director), Susan Bunnell (Finance Committee, Capital Planning Committee, Major Projects Committee), Marianne Desmond (Regional School Committee), William Fogarty (Town Administrator), Ronald Haislip-Hansberry (President, Wilbraham Friends of the Library), James Jurgens (Chairman, Library Board of Trustees), Martha Rickson (Bank of America), Kyle Rowe (College Student), and Janet Shea (Library Trustee)

Appendices

Appendix A Community Survey

Appendix B Interviews Summary

Appendix C Focus Group Responses Summary

Appendix D Vision Summary

Appendix E Needs Summary

 

 

Library Services Responses

Service Responses are listed in rank order with the number of votes indicated:

Commons (7)

Current Topics and Titles (7)

Information Literacy (6)

Lifelong Learning (6)

General Information (5)

1. Commons—The library helps address the need of people to meet and interact with others in their community and to participate in public discourse about community issues.

The library will provide public spaces for meeting and gathering that is recognized as inviting, neutral, and safe by all individuals and groups in the community.

Examples:

Large, medium, and small meeting room spaces

Community events bulletin board or kiosk

E-mail accounts for the public (or information about free e-mail service)

Facilitation of community related programs

Videoconferencing facilities

Automated room scheduling

2. Current Topics and Titles—The library helps fulfill community residents’ appetite for information about popular cultural and social trends and their desire for satisfying recreational experiences.

The library will provide a current collection with sufficient copies of titles in high demand to ensure customer requests are met quickly. Materials will be offered in the formats and languages people want and will be selected primarily on the basis of local demand. The library’s collections will be organized in ways that make items easy to find and will be merchandised to the public through the use of displays and display shelving. Staff knowledgeable of the content of best-selling titles and the style of popular authors will offer expert guidance to the public. The library will monitor pre-publication review sources and publisher advertising campaigns in order to anticipate public demand.

Examples:

Book talks

Author book signings

Readers’ advisory services

Preview stations for videos and recordings

Display shelving

Drive-through check-out and return

3. Information Literacy—The library helps address the need for skills related to finding, evaluating, and using information effectively.

The library will provide training and instruction in skills related to locating, evaluating, and using information resources of all types. Teaching the public to find and evaluate information will be stressed over simply providing answers.

The library will provide access to information in a variety of formats and will offer public Internet training and access. Library staff will be knowledgeable about how people seek information and learn.

Examples:

Classroom space

Special programs on media literacy

Computer laboratory

Listening and viewing multi-media computer stations for critical evaluation of resources

Basic library skills and bibliographic instruction

Instructional technology

4. Lifelong Learning—The library helps address the desire for self-directed personal growth and development opportunities.

The library will provide and maintain an extensive collection of circulating materials on a wide variety of topics in which the general public has a sustained interest. Collections will be easily accessible and organized to encourage public browsing by subject area. Staff knowledgeable in subjects and topics of interest to the general public will provide expert assistance in locating materials of all types and in all formats. The library will develop pathfinders or other finding tools to assist library users in learning about specific subjects to topics for which there are frequent requests.

Examples:

Electronic and printed pathfinders

How-to programs on topics of general public interest

Special topical displays of materials and resources

Artist-in-residence programs

Demonstrations and exhibits

History and biography resources

5. General Information—The library helps meet the need for information and answers to questions on a broad array of topics related to work, school, and personal life.

The library will offer print, non-print, and electronic reference resources that cover a broad variety of topics. The library will provide staff skillful in determining users’ needs and in locating relevant information that satisfies these needs. Internet access will be provided for staff and public use.

Examples:

Basic reference resources available through the library web page

Twenty-four hour electronic reference services (ability to e-mail questions)

Dedicated telephone reference (not located at the reference desk)

Ready reference answers faxed to home or office

Desktop videoconferencing (for transmitting schematic drawings, graphics)

Bibliographic instruction programs

 

 

Library S.W.O.T. Analysis

Strengths

Weaknesses

·1 High level of community participation

·2 Positive attitude of staff "What can I do to help you?"

·3 Admiration of residents

·4 Large number and variety of programs across the board and year round

·5 Interlibrary Loan (ILL) and regional support

·6 Cohesive staff that work toward common goals

·7 Customer service

·8 Welcoming building, good setup of services (do make the most of space)

·9 Town wide interdepartmental cooperation

·10 Intercommunication town wide between departments

·11 Brooks Room is used 3 nights a week—500 times a year on average

·12 Library serves as community center of town

·13 Up to date with technology (iPOD Shuffle)

·14 Databases

·15 Great Trustees

·16 Welcoming for young children

·17 Knowledgeable staff

·18 Location is welcoming

·19 Established groups that support the library; (Friends and Memorial-Endowment Fund)

·20 Friends are being rejuvenated

·21 Good financial support (adequate budget, grant money)

·22 High volume of new books (don’t have to wait long for reserves)

·23 Exterior of building and Brooks Room

·24 Materials available that present broad focus on issues, all sides of issues

·25 Director

·26 Hours

·27 Web site/patron access to services online/allows expanded use of library/can use whenever if convenient

·28 Lack of understanding of what a library is and can deliver (don’t need library, have laptop and Internet)

·29 Fear there has been damage to credibility of the Trustees and staff through misinformation and loss of project

·30 Do such a good job running the library that needs are buried

·31 Inadequate space, no seating for pleasure reading (everything is too close together)

·32 Limited everything for teens (not a place for teens) they don’t expect to have a good time and/or find information they need

·33 Lack of wireless access

·34 Aging building infrastructure and systems (HVAC, pump, etc.)

·35 Negative—the size of the building was a block—need to talk about library as services (too easy to latch onto the size of the building and oppose project)

·36 Difficulty in getting out the library message—PR can be expensive—resources needed—how to be effective (The Tipping Point)

·37 Technology is changing things; creates confusion

·38 Timing of the library project and town capital needs

·39 Easy to find negative reasons for some residents; residents don’t understand bonding and debt exclusion

·40 Librarians are too nice

·41 Longer timeline, integrate how library is/no surprises in the future

·42 Didn’t have Long Range Plan for coordinating capital projects

·43 General communication (idea, regionalize library, joint school/public library

·44 Shelving, too high, too low

·45 Limitation to grow the collection and provide new services

·46 Mezzanine, load level limited

·47 Lighting

·48 Outreach, more and better, would help with communication and engage residents

·49 Hours—Sunday

 


 

Opportunities

Threats

·1 Hours (Sunday, etc)

·2 Energy and creativity of the staff

·3 Open air book sale in the parking in the summer

·4 Hosting library event—describe what the library does "Day without a Library"

·5 Grab early teens/late elementary age

·6 Broaden user participation, get more support

·7 Splash what is available (ex: Wireless access—have a virtual ribbon cutting ceremony)

·8 Library column in Hampden-Wilbraham Times, switch every other week from one town to the other

·9 Develop stories of users to put forward library message

·10 Use all media formats to present human interest stories "I use the library too…."

·11 Have the town better understand the library

·12 Friends are purchasing ‘Read" poster software so people can make their own posters (ex. Coolest place, largest number of people in a groups, etc)

·13 Let residents know where library money comes from and how spent

·14 Develop marketing plan, pull together ideas, strategies

·15 Capital funds to fix some infrastructure issues

·16 Revamp building, to focus on high use services or needs—teen services, for example

·17 Fundraise to cover some costs—furniture, etc

·18 Build Friends Group, become advocates for the library

·19 Grow technology—the virtual component of the library, replace some parts of the collection with online materials

·20 Through outreach, develop a niche for the library (don’t duplicate services), new marketing strategy

·21 Dialogue about the library, can change opinions of some

·22 Location, Farmer’s Market, etc. pull others to the library (build on days)

·23 Wireless training lab, laptop donations

·1 Concerned Citizens of Wilbraham (lots of people listen to them—many are against the library)

·2 Negative thinkers with loud voices (hype of misinformation)

·3 Busyness of people, how to get them to consider the library a priority

·4 Apathy of others

·5 Idea of technology, provide one on one training (pull away from traditional resources)

·6 Some feel threatened by technology

·7 Competition for limited funds—capital project funds—limit the ability to fix infrastructure of library

·8 Balancing act

·9 Funding loss

·10 Cost of running the library—heat, electricity, etc going up, also going up for residents. In order to maintain life style—the environment for tax increases is constrained—vote no!

·11 Need to spend money of utilities, no control

·12 Tough time to be a public institution—you are lying—no credibility

·13 Bare bones budget—no place to cut—services would be impacted

·14 Misconception that the library is just for "that group of people"

·15 Residents need to pay for utilities, college, need to earmark own money

·16 Above 55 condos…all happened at once, people with kids are moving into larger homes

·17 Graying of population—income limits

·18 Population decreases, young people are moving out of state, cost of housing

·19 Look at demographics

 

 

 

 

 

Library Data

 

Mission for FY2003-2006

The mission of the Wilbraham Public Library is to provide services and programs to educate, entertain, and enlighten patrons of all ages. We currently focus our services on:

Meeting the demand for information about current cultural and social trends

Satisfying popular recreational interests.

Providing information on a wide range of general topics

Supporting lifelong learning, skill development, and self-directed personal growth

Supporting the formal learning needs of students in grades K-12

Preserving and providing access to the history of Wilbraham and the Pioneer Valley.

Library Services and Collections

People use the library for a variety of reasons:

Borrowing materials

Using materials in the library

Seeking assistance

Reading and studying

Attending library programs

Attending community and organization meetings

Viewing art exhibits

Using computers

Using the photocopier

Computer training

Getting tax, student aid, and other forms

Collaborative learning

Meeting friends and neighbors

Traditional services such as borrowing materials and reading and studying in the library are still the mainstays of library services. However, today’s library has become a vibrant information and community center offering computer resources, preschool storytime, summer reading activities, programs and cultural events for people of all ages, community meeting space, and much more. In 2005 the Brooks Room was booked 513 times for meetings and programs.

The library is very busy. Almost 11,000 residents have Wilbraham library cards. In 2005 an average of 2,464 people per week visited the library and asked 285 reference questions. Over 1,100 people per week came in to use our computers which offer Internet access, Microsoft Office software, on-line catalog, and several subscription information databases including full-text magazine and newspaper articles and specialized resources in history, literature, science, art, practice test and tutorial courses, law, social issues ,and business. Laser and color inkjet printing is available for a small fee.

The library presently has over 80,000 materials for loan, both print and non-print, including books, magazines and local, regional, and national newspapers, audio books, DVDs and VHS videos, CDs, CD-ROMs, multi-media kits, games, puppets, and toys. A growing collection of local history resources is available. Some of this collection is available on-line at the library’s website (www.wilbrahamlibrary.org), and more will be digitized in the near future.

Library service goes beyond the walls of the building. In 2005 we delivered 2,027 materials through outreach services. Through library staff and volunteers the library extends services to Wilbraham nursing homes, assisted living developments, the Senior Center, and homebound individuals. We are actively involved with the public and private schools in town through classroom visits and cooperative activities with the school libraries and academic departments and serve as a homework center for after school study, research, and group projects. In addition to the resources and services previously mentioned our website includes readers’ services, library events listings, the library newsletter, and links to other resources.

Library Support Groups

The library has two nonprofit organizations that enhance library services. The Wilbraham Friends of the Library, comprised of about 400 members, sponsors library programs and other activities through membership fees, book sales, video fees, and fundraising. The Wilbraham Library Memorial-Endowment Fund provides supplemental funding to purchase special books and accessories for the library. In all the library receives about 9% of its operating budget from these two organizations, grants, and gifts.

 

 

 

Growth and Change

Library use has changed dramatically over the past twenty years as indicated in the chart below. Since 1984 the population increased only 15% while circulation (checking out materials) has more than doubled. Over just the past ten years reference questions increased 55%, program offerings increased 52%, program attendance increased 47%, and computers have grown 900%.

Year 1984 1994 2004
Population 12,333 13,180 14,267
Circulation 99,608 182,517 226,024
Collection Size 60,945 62,303 75,720
Reference Questions nc 9,200 14,307
Programs nc 186 388
Program Attendance nc 3,678 6,898
Public Computers 0 2 18

Recent service innovations including patron access to their library records to place holds on materials or renew items, home access to library information databases, e-books and e-audio books, and iPod Shuffles for loan. Wireless (wi-fi) access to the Internet will be available in the library by September 2006.

Library Comparisons

The Wilbraham Public Library is among the most actively used in Massachusetts. According to the FY05 Massachusetts Public Library Data Reports, known as the ARIS Reports, issued by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, Wilbraham ranked high in a number of indicators for services and library use among the 56 towns in its population group of 10,000-14,999. Data for the Wilbraham Public Library, which is supplied through the C/WMARS integrated library system and reported by the MBLC, showed the following:

Category Number Rank in Pop.Group
Reference Questions per Week 285 6
Number of Visitors per Week 2,403 7
Meeting Room Use 513 7
Children’s Programs 306 3
Attendance at Children’s Programs 5,024 7
Adult Programs 120 5
Attendance at Adult Programs 1,779 9
Circulation 215,782 10
Circulation per Capita 15.48 8
Non-Resident Circulation 44,907 8
Circulation per Hour Open 78 6

 

Other highly ranked towns include Bedford, Groton, Medfield, Seekonk, Wayland, Weston, and Westwood, all located in central and eastern Massachusetts.

The chart below shows circulation per capita in the United States, Massachusetts, and Wilbraham from 1993-2003. Circulation at the Wilbraham Public Library was more than double the state and national average during this ten year period.

 

 


 
 
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