When the library closed the morning of Tuesday Oct 1st, the staff was out visiting two of our neighboring libraries to identify different ways to improve library services. These visits are a cornerstone of the Readers’ Advisory initiative currently underway at the library.* You, our patrons, are our motivation for providing outstanding service so we have created a new motto: “Working harder to make your library visits better!”
The first stop was to Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood. We learned:
Identify staff members that are superstars in a particular subject – Would it make your next visit easier if you knew Erica is the teen fiction guru or Terri is a whiz with fiction? Having a movie night? Check in with Matt our film master for a great recommendation. Do you know a picky reader? Kim, Veronique and Bernadette are the best with kids books. Want to curl up with a good mystery or be whisked away by a thrilling Sci-Fi/Fantasy? Come talk to Sandy and Stef. Need something to listen to in that long car ride coming up? Our director, Deborah, knows the best audiobooks. Having staff that specialize in certain areas helps create a network of experts we can rely upon to make sure you get materials that are the best fit for you.
Book Chats – sitting down with all the library staff to talk about what we are currently reading, watching or listening to is important to help us learn about the strengths and hidden depths of our staff. It can also help us connect with you, if we're aware of what's popular, a cult classic, or just a really good read.
Reworking the Bestsellers Club – This club was originally designed as a convenient way to make sure you never missed the books by your favorite authors, but technology has advanced to a point where we can deliver emails with clickable links to our catalog so you’re never stuck waiting to find out your favorite authors’ latest works.
Our last stop was the new Walpole Public Library. Our visit raised several questions:
Is our library space used as efficiently as it could be?
Are the library staff accessible to help patrons or provide backup when other departments get busy?
How green is our library? Walpole was built as a green building and it certainly provides a great model for reducing, reusing, and recycling.
Could our seating be more comfortable? And how does comfort affect who uses the library?
These visits aren’t over for us, we have two more scheduled to tour the new Millis and Westwood libraries and learn from the staff at the Bellingham and Waltham libraries. So stay tuned for more new ideas and things we’ve learned.
*Medfield has been awarded a grant through the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Library and Services Technology Act administered by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.
“The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow IMLS on Facebookand Twitter."