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Task Force on Financially Sustainable Library Service Models  Task Force on Financially Sustainable Library Service Models

Checking in: The Future of SCPL

Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Update

Checking in: The Future of SCPL

Just a quick update on what is happening with the Task Force Subcommittees have been busy researching a list of potential service efficiencies provided by library futurist Joan Frye-Williams during her early September visit. A list of these is below so you can see the nature of what is being explored. These are all ways of providing service that are being tried by public libraries throughout the country.

Consolidated desks
Roving staff
Self-checkout
Self-checkin
Training for staff flexibility
Floating (between branches) staff
Centralized service design and planning
Evidence-based ROI calculations
Automated scheduling
Fewer larger facilities
Open floor plans
Movable furniture, rolling shelves
Enhanced browse-ability
Energy conservation
Self-service kiosks
Centralized collection development, selection
E-content/downloadables
Floating collections
Automated materials handling

The next step is to begin brainstorming and costing various models.

View similarly tagged posts: library service models
Posted by shieldss on Oct. 12, 2010 at noon
7 Comments

Comments

October 28, 2010 at 4 p.m.:

I would like to suggest a "self login" option at the Garfield Park Library's children and adult public computers. Then the Librarians would not have to be troubled with having to walk from behind their service desks and to the computers to hand key in the password.

November 19, 2010 at 1:51 p.m.:

I think the automated checkout system at the central branch is great both for the public's convenience and also to help offset staff's work and minimize repetitive-motion issues. Good job!

I think the concept of having "floating staff" that go from branch to branch is counterproductive. Having staff that are familiar with their branches, the particular resources there, and the clientele and community of those branches is of great benefit to the public. Having staff float from branch to branch seems a discombobulating process that would be a particularly ineffective and inappropriate use of tax dollars.

I think it's unfortunate but important to consolidate services during these ongoing difficult financial times.

I think that preserving core services is primary and that, unfortunately, temporarily closing tiny branches is preferable to having drastic cuts in more main branch hours. While I understand the way the joint powers board it set up with representatives throughout the community, I think special interests are impeding what is good for the whole, and that both the board members and community need to be looking to the greater good.

December 2, 2010 at 11:56 a.m.:

We need librarians. They are the library. The Scotts Valley has been a colder, less welcoming place without Dorcas and without Guido. We like the librarians and they are so helpful - such great suggestions. NO machine replaces them!

December 13, 2010 at 7:46 a.m.:

The library system is pruning itself out of existence. Branch hours are too few and too inconsistent for patrons to keep track of. There are only so many times a patron will make the trip only to find out the branch is closed.

December 13, 2010 at 8:01 a.m.:

Take a page from retail. The few successful independent bookstores provide long hours, a welcoming environment, and excellent customer service.

This only works because they CHARGE customers for these services. How much do they charge? Only a small premium over what Amazon.com charges. This is typically a dollar or two. Surely our libraries could charge this for checking out a book, for using the services of a librarian, and for delivery of books ordered through the online catalog. There is already a system of fee tracking in place for fines. Just substitute"fees" for "fines" and you're in business.

What about patrons who cannot afford to pay? Give them a free pass.

December 27, 2010 at 11:19 a.m.:

If the "future" of the library is self-checkout machines and less interaction with library staff, it's a cold and dismal future, indeed.

Already, since the introduction of the self-checkout machines and "pick up your own holds" in the SV library, the library no longer feels warm and welcoming - there's no "buzz" of low-level conversations between patrons and librarians - everyone does their solitary thing.

In and out - it might be more efficient, but there's a human element that has been lost.

January 26, 2011 at 5:20 p.m.:

May I suggest going to the used market for materials purchase. A DVD that costs $10-20 is often $1-4 used from Amazon. I am new to the library and was really surprised to see how few DVDs there are in the central library. I don't want to see feature movies - I don't want to use the library as a replacement for rental movies. But it would be great to have more documentaries.

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