Task Force on Financially Sustainable Library Service Models
Checking in: The Future of SCPL
Friday, September 17, 2010
Task Force So Far
Working on this Task Force is a unique opportunity. Most library systems, when faced with the problems and issues that Santa Cruz is dealing with, would hire a consultant to design models. The consultant would then present various options to the Library board and they would decide which model to implement. What makes Santa Cruz different is that rather than hire a consultant the Library system has put together a Task Force. The Task Force is comprised of Library Board Members, Library Staff, Community Members, and a Library School Intern. I happen to be the intern.
Working with the Task Force has been a learning experience for me and I have learned a lot about the Santa Cruz Public Library system and libraries in general. This process has been unique and I think everyone involved is learning through the process of doing. Santa Cruz is the first (at least that I have heard about) library system that has deployed a Task Force to do this work. This makes the work a difficult undertaking. We are innovating all the way and there is no prescribed roadmap for how to do the work.
The Task Force has had three meetings so far. The first few meetings have set the field and clarified our task of assembling several different library service models to present to the library board. The last meeting featured library futurist and consultant Joan Frye Williams. Joan had a lot of interesting and thought provoking ideas about libraries. She spoke about sustainability and innovation and she made me question many of the things I took for granted about libraries. She also provided some guidance and tools for developing the different service models. The Task Force is taking a building blocks approach to the work. The Task Force is breaking into smaller subgroups that will work on specific parts or blocks. These blocks will then be assembled to create different service models. I am happy to be a member of the Task Force. Now back to work…
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