Task Force on Financially Sustainable Library Service Models
Checking in: The Future of SCPL
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Are We Having Fun Yet?
Well, we’ve had three meetings of the Task Force (and are having our fourth meeting in a few short days). At this point, I’m sure we’re all realizing just how much work it’s going to be. Our job is to develop several different service models that will take the Library System into the future. So, just what is a library service model? Most of us on the task force had that same question.
A library service model outlines how to deliver services so that we achieve our vision and strategic priorities. It talks about facilities, staffing, collections and technology. How tough can that be, you might ask. And why do you need 20 people on a task force for six months to accomplish that? Well, here’s the really, really hard part -- we also need the service models to result in a financially sustainable library system. That is no easy task. It is very clear that adjustments and tweaks to the way we currently “do business” are not going to cut it. We will need to make significant changes in how our Library System operates.
Yes, there’s a lot of difficult work ahead of us. Yet, I feel optimistic and energized. We have a great group of people on the task force – library board members, library staff, and community members from all areas of our library system. We have a home schooling Dad, a member with experience in operations management, another with a career in urban development, a former academic librarian and a current academic librarian. We have members with backgrounds in child development, education, retail, instructional technology and business. We have an intern. We have a wonderful facilitator from the Conflict Resolution Center who keeps us on track and moving along. Every member of the team brings a unique perspective and unique skills. And every member has one thing in common. We all love libraries.
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