Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Strategy Session Number 3

We met again on August 9, 2013.  Chris Caputo from The Office of Public Service and Support (TOPSS) and Theresa Ramos from the Free Library Foundation both attended to offer suggestions on how their departments might be able to contribute to the fabric of the cluster.  All in all, this session was all about brainstorming.

The following ideas were put forward as ideal.  Realistically, we know not all of this is possible.

·         All six branches will be closed ½ day per month for training and catch-up work.
·         As of 10/01/13 … closing for “lack of staff” is not an option.
·         Clean open havens.
·         Both computer labs should open all of the time for classes.
·         Maps for cluster + hot spots + computer labs.

·       1 LA3 and 1 Digital resource Specialist assigned to the Cluster.
·         All job classes should be willing/able to “skill-share.”  Siobhan wants “downward decision-making.”
·         When we are complete, the Cluster should have a collective total of 38.0 FTE.  LMB may have 1 LS1 + 2 Librarians.

·         Suggested that we explore Business Decision Tapestry profile for future analytical needs.  Marion presented a completed profile for CBM as an example.
·         We should count the number of “smiles and ahs!” per hour.

·         We need a cluster pithy Mission Statement (that should fit on a t-shirt).
·         How is Clustering different:  level of sharing; embedded librarianship; more intentionally a part of the community; better career path for LAs; there are not many tangible rewards, but there are many intrinsic rewards; 10/01/13 is our initial starting date, but it will take 1 to 1½ years to be fully clusterated.
·         What “Outcomes” does the Cluster desire?  
·         Can we have train-the-trainer sessions?  Can we have a collective calendar?  Can we have a Peer Resources Calendar?  Can we have a Central Community resources Calendar?  Can we have a Cluster Facebook?  Can we have a Collective Outlook Calendar?
·         SEPTA route cluster map.

      ·        Stamp out illiteracy.
      ·         Family Literacy = whole family (seniors, adults, teens, tweens, children, babies).
      ·         Each branch should have an Adult easy reader Collection.
      ·         Should be F-U-N.
      ·         Inspire the community.
·         Foundation Outreach Specialists and Digital Resource Specialists will be made available to the Cluster to help with programming and outreach.  The may be interest in Makerspaces and other related programs.
·         LSTA Grant monies may be available for Teen Makerspaces under the aegis of “Teen Services” + University of Pennsylvania graduate students and concomitant expertise may be available.
·         Full-day Makerspace program at CBM has been planned.
·         Digital Resource Specialist position is critical, but “up in the air” at the moment.
      ·         TOPSS is happy to facilitate the formation and implementation of our cluster.
·         TOPSS was asked if they could develop “canned” programs for the cluster.
 ·         Each branch should have a specialty, but the cluster should be able to solve all the library needs that a customer has.
       ·         Some communities love to have arts and music programs.  We need to have contacts                 with arts/music adjuncts with schools/institutions within cluster.
       ·         Tie literacy in with all arts/music programs.
       ·         Ask Stephanie Scordia whether Philadelphia Stories, Jr. can expand for other age                     groups
       ·         Karaoke, arts/music programs with literacy components that are F-U-N. 
       ·         Art is a universal language … even for New Americans.
       ·         “Tell Your Story” workshop
       ·         Broken toys & missing puzzle piece programs.
       ·         Introduce “Write Your Own Book” programs as a combined book arts and Literacy                       program.


  1. This suggestion came from Janet Puchino via email.

    Hello to the NPNLCL!

    You guys in the north are movin’ & shakin’! No wonder the north won the civil war. I haven’t finished reading the entire blog but the buy in by branch personnel and their input is impressive. Great job!!

    One entry mentioned a “Tell your Story” program or series as a possible offering to the community. When at SAN, we reached out to the South Philadelphia Older Adult Center (mainly because one of SPOAC’s services is to bus groups to a location) and asked who had lived in the community for decades and wanted to tell a personal story of changes in South Philly that have come about during their lifetime, stories of change that their parents may have relayed, etc. Each participant was taped telling their “story” and saved to a travel drive and given to each participant. We learned a lot about the neighborhood we served and made the seniors feel special.

    Just one way to put meat on the bones of this wonderful program/series suggestion.

  2. If closing due to lack of staff is "no longer an option." What is the smallest number of staff that has been present so far while a library has been open? Or are there enough people in the cluster to move around, so everyone has at least four people during the day?

  3. Allen, Although this was stated as a goal, it has not yet been realized. We have not had enough staff to accomplish it. We have the same standards as the rest of FLP's branches as far as staffing is concerned.