Maynard Public Library Action Plan   11/29/18

 

I. Increase Library Responsiveness to the Community

 

1. Increase hours the library is open to the public

The library now exceeds the state standard in terms of hours open. Survey respondents requested more evening hours, possibly Sunday hours, and that the library remains open Saturdays during the school summer recess. The most natural extension of hours is to remain open until 9 PM on Wednesday nights.

​The library will work with the Board of Selectmen to provide funding for longer open hours.

More monies have been designated in FY 19 budget (July 2018) enabling the library to open a third evening, Wednesday nights.

Goal for Action Plan FY 2020: to petition through the annual budget process for more for more funds so that the library may open earlier on Tuesdays afternoons.

 

2. Develop collections and programming

Under the guidelines of the Collection Development Policy, continue to offer content in a variety of formats.

The library will put a greater focus on:

  • collection development Ongoing

  • informational programming

  • The library will sponsor 6 informational programs in 2019.

    • The library will apply for a “Health and Wellness” LSTA grant for grant year 2020 to support this effort.

  • arts and craft programs

    • The library will continue to offer informational and arts/crafts programs in 2019-2020.

  • STEM programming for children

    • The library will continue to develop active STEMprograms. The library received a “Science is everything” award from the MBLC in 2017. As a follow up to the grant monthly STEM  programs are held.

 

3. Advance technologically

It is critical that the library remain current with new technologies, both for the recreational and informational needs of its patrons and because some information may only be available in newer formats. As technology and digital resources become a greater component of the library program it is critical that the library develop resources accordingly.

To insure appropriate technological development the library will:

  • Request a library technology budget within the Town appropriation. Ongoing

  • Hire staff with an information technology background. Ongoing

  • Have staff attend training sessions sponsored by the Minuteman Library Network and the Massachusetts Metro-west Regional System. Ongoing

  • Keep abreast of current technology used in public libraries through library literature. Ongoing

  • Attend workshops focusing on new technologies. Ongoing

  • Purchase digital programs essential for patron use

    • The library began using EventKeeper for reservations in 2017. We will be adding Kanopy in 2019.

  • Apply for grants to support these efforts. Ongoing

 

4. Increase library visibility

The library sponsors approximately 12 event programs annually as well as approximately 150 weekly programs each year, but some survey respondents felt that these programs and other library services weren’t well advertised.

​To increase visibility for its collection, services, and programs, the library will:

  • Put more program signage up inside the library building.

  • Make sure all programs are displayed at the library’s web site.

  • Advertise programs on the local cable channel.

  • Make sure the local paper gets press releases in a timely manner.

  • Use social media to advertise library services and programs.

  • Work with the Friends of the Maynard Public Library to increase the library’s visibility.

 

5. Improve staffing patterns

There are two critical areas in which additional staff is needed to better deliver public library services in Maynard. Over the last 20 years the library has grown from having three computers and a dial up connection to the Minuteman Library Network to having its own server, 16 public computers, and seven staff computers, as well as offering patrons access to several software programs and databases. There has been no staffing increase to manage these computers. Bringing on a part time, on-call staff person to manage and resolve computer issues, and consult with permanent library staff, would position the library to better handle current and future technological needs. In addition, between the programs offered by library staff and the Friends of the Maynard Public Library, the library presents more than 20 programs per month. A ten hour a week program manager is needed to help develop, promote, implement, and staff these functions.

To add staff the library will:

  • Keep the Board of Selectmen and the Town Administrator apprised of increased library use and needs.

  • Meet with other Town departments to better inform them of library staffing needs.

  • Write new job descriptions for additional positions and review those of current staff members.

  • A part time “Programming Assistant” position was created. Also part time positions were added to the Circulation Dept. in FY 19.

  • Goal for Action Plan FY 2019: to better fund and support the Programming Assistant position.

 

 

6. Improve outreach to underserved constituencies: ESOL speakers

Residents for whom English is a second language were identified as a population that is currently underserved by library programming and holdings.

The library can better meet the needs of non-native language patrons by:

  • Inviting English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes to tour the library. Ongoing

  • Recruiting volunteers to organize appropriate programs for ESOL learners.

  • Will see how realistic it is that volunteers may be recruited in 2017.

The library was able to recruit 2 ESOL volunteers. Now the library sponsors 3 ESOL classes per week.

Goal for Action Plan FY 2020: To better promote these classes.

 

7. Partner with other Town agencies

To better strengthen the library’s standing in the community, it is advisable to work with other Town agencies whenever feasible.

The library will partner with other agencies by:

  • Attending monthly meetings of department heads. Ongoing

  • Meeting with different departments (Health, School, Recreation, Council on Aging and others) to assess in what ways the library can work with them. Ongoing

  • Implementing suggestions from other departments. Ongoing

  • Sponsoring meetings of other Town departments at the library. Ongoing

  • Seeking funding for these initiatives where it is available. Ongoing

 Goal for Action Plan FY 2019: to better position the library as a community center by working with the Town Master Plan committee to facilitate community discussion about current and future needs of the Town and the library’s role in the community.

 

8. Maintain library facility

The most important library development in recent years has been the construction of the new library facility, allowing patrons more services and more comfort. The building has to be well maintained and, in some cases, improved upon. Areas to be maintained: general building condition and attractiveness and exterior grounds. Areas to be maintained and/or improved include fire alarm systems, HVAC, building security, and others.

​The library can ensure its facilities are well maintained by:

  • Working with Maynard Facilities Manager to proactively address building maintenance projects. Ongoing

  • Adding identified projects to Town’s Long-Term Capital Plan to establish a dependable funding process for capital needs. As needed

 

 

II. Strengthen the Library’s Financial Status

 

It is crucial that the library remain financially strong.  Across Massachusetts, public libraries receive, on average, between 1.2 and 2.0% of municipal budgets.  Maynard currently funds its library at 1.37% a slight reduction from the previous fiscal year and a trend of declining investment by the Town.

The library will proactively work toward a stronger financial position by:

  • Requesting that annual library budget be increased to 1.5% of general fund budget by FY2021. This would be equal to an increase of $65,000 in today’s budget. Ongoing

  • Meeting with the Town Administrator and Board of Selectmen and articulate library budgetary needs. Ongoing

  • Ensuring budget submittal includes appropriate increase over the previous fiscal year. Ongoing

  • Meeting with the Finance Committee and other administrators as needed to explain budget request. Ongoing

 

Note: the library budget exceeds the minimum certification requirements and shows more growth than most other departments.

  • Keeping aware of grants offered at the federal, state, and local level. Ongoing

  • Studying and applying for grants offered by the American Library Association. As appropriate

  • Applying for at least one Maynard Cultural Council grant annually. Ongoing

  • Requesting funding for library programs from the Friends of the Maynard Public Library as appropriate.   Ongoing

Maynard Public Library 77 Nason Street Maynard, MA 01754 Phone 978-897-1010