As a recommendation, the Design Team of the Free Library of Philadelphia, it was suggested that the library adjust to their service model to one that "clusters" several branches together to provide program and other services to neighborhood residents in a more collaborative way. The cluster is supposed to be autonomous and visionary.
The other recommendation is that the libraries and the librarians become "embedded" in their surrounding neighborhoods. The goal is to enable librarians to move from behind their desks and computers and to go out to provide support to local schools and social service organizations.
As soon as it was confirmed that Cecil B. Moore, Kensington, Lillian Marrero, McPherson Square, Ramonita G. deRodriguez and Widener would be the branches to form the first cluster, and that I would be the leader of the cluster, I started meeting with the branch heads.
At the first meeting, on June 14, 2013, we discussed some ideas in very broad strokes. We talked about how to share skills and what that might look like. Everyone agreed to go back and look at the Free Library's strategic plan once again.
Other ideas mentioned were:
- Ordering our own materials
- Have a shared gmail address
- Webcams for conference calls or teleconferences