APL 2011-15 Strategic Plan, Complete

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Arlington Public Library's 2011-2015 Strategic Plan

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APL 2011-15 Strategic Plan, Complete

  1. 1. Connect Learn Grow LiveArlington Public Library FY 2011 – 2015
  2. 2. Library Advisory Board Members Barbara Reber, Place 1 Peter Bagley, Place 2 Amber N. Chacko, Place 3 Suzette T. Law, Place 4 Paula J. Harbour, Secretary, Place 5 William (Bill) Lace, Vice Chair, Place 6 Tammy R. Taylor, Place 7 Roger A DeFrang, Chair, Place 8 Valerie K. Hodges, Place 9Abraham Yan-Shuen Lam, Youth Representative, Place 10 Library Locations George W. Hawkes Central Library 101 East Abram Street, 76010 817-459-6900 East Arlington Branch Library 1624 New York Avenue, 76010 817-275-3321 Lake Arlington Branch Library 4000 West Green Oaks Blvd., 76016 817-478-3762 Northeast Branch Library 1905 Brown Blvd., 76006 817-277-5573 Southeast Branch Library 300 S. E. Green Oaks Blvd., 76018 817-459-6395 Southwest Branch Library 3311 S. W. Green Oaks Blvd., 76013 817-459-6386 Woodland West Branch Library 3827 West Park Row Drive, 76013 817-277-5265
  3. 3. Table of ContentsIntroduction: 1. Plan, Work, Measure, Repeat 2. Our History, Our CommunityOUR FUTURE: LIVE -- LEARN – CONNECT – GROW Arlington Public Library, FY 2011 – 2015OUR PAST: Summary Report: The Next Chapter: Library Service for Arlington, FY 2006 – 2010HOW WE MEASURE UP: Library Resource Allocation & Usage Benchmarks
  4. 4. PLAN, WORK, MEASURE, REPEATThe days, weeks, months and years between 2006 and 2010 flew by quickly. In what seemed like no time at all, 2010 was upon usand it was time to assess the results of our work and plan for the next five years. It was clear to all of us during the planning processthat the course begun in 2006 was still, with a few minor adjustments, the right road for us. In addition, it was obvious that whilewe accomplished a great deal, there was still much to do.In order to prepare for the next five years, Library staff and the Library Advisory Board reviewed our performance between 2006 and2010 and assessed our successes, as well as our challenges. In addition, we used a survey conducted as part of the Central LibraryVisioning Study as confirmation of the priorities that our citizens have for library services in Arlington. We felt that one of thegreatest challenges overall to our first plan, was its structure. As a result, we went in search of a structure that made sense to usand seemed to reflect the themes of the work that we do. The results of that search were the simple words: LIVE LEARN CONNECT GROWWith that structure in mind, we crafted the goals that fit with those four focus areas, as well as the measures of performance to beused to assess progress toward achieving the goals. Each year, we will outline the activities and projects that will move us along aswe reach for our goals. In order to ensure that these are “living” goals, you’ll note the faces of some of the people that we want tokeep in mind every day while we’re working. Some of the people portrayed on the LIVE—LEARN—CONNECT—GROW pages are realpeople— actual library users that we work with every day who have told us their stories about what the library means to them.Others are composites of the stories of several of our customers. But as we review the goals in each area, we remember that thewords are only important because of the PEOPLE they serve and the lives that they change.Following the outline of our current plan, you’ll find a summary of the results of The Next Chapter: Library Services for Arlington, FY2006 – 2010. Both our successes and our challenges are highlighted here and significant performance measures are illustrated. Inaddition, we recognize that while our own results are important, one way to improve service is to use the performance of othersimilar organizations as a guide and to measure ourselves against their achievements. To that end, you’ll find a report we produceannually as an appendix to this document: Library Resource Allocation & Usage Benchmarks. While an initial inclination might be tofind the results of this report disheartening, we hope you’ll instead find them to be a roadmap to what library services could grow tobe in our community as we stretch to meet the goals set out in this plan.We appreciate your taking the time to review our plans for the future, as well as the results of our past. We value your continuedsupport and hope you will make good use of the many resources and services the Arlington Public Library provides to help you toLIVE, LEARN, CONNECT and GROW! Cary Siegfried, Director of Libraries Roger DeFrang, Chair, Library Advisory Board FY2001 1
  5. 5. the First National Bank building downtown andINTRODUCTION: renovated the entire property to house the library andOur History: public meeting rooms. At this time, the library became a department of the City of Arlington, with salaries and In 1922 Miss Pearl Wade earned materials coming out of the general operating budget. a monthly librarian’s salary of The new facility featured a drive-through book drop and $12 for managing a collection of a duplicating machine for public use. 500 books. The books were stashed in wooden crates in a In the 1970’s the first bond election benefitting the corner of the Farmer’s National library system allowed for the construction of a large Bank in downtown Arlington and downtown facility and three branches. The Central citizens who wished to be well Library, completed in 1973 and decorated in hues ofread could visit Miss Wade on Wednesday and Saturday orange, harvest gold and avocado green, offered aafternoons. These were the first library services for the modern card catalog and microfilm machines. Thegrowing City of Arlington, provided by the Tarrant Southeast (later named East Arlington), North (closed inCounty Free Library. 1996), and Southwest (later named Woodland West) branches all opened in the early seventies. In 1986, aThe library expanded along with the city and found new Southwest Branch (later named Lake Arlingtonmany temporary homes in the early years. In 1923, the Branch) opened at 4000 West Green Oaks Boulevard.first official Arlington Public Library moved to thesecond floor of the Graber Building downtown, which During the 1990’s, significant events occurred thatlater became a theater. Those who grew up here may served to shape the Arlington Public Library over theremember climbing the stairs to a room over the Texan next two decades. In 1991, a study of the LibraryTheater, or maneuvering through the stacks of books System recommended expansion of the branch system.filling two rooms and spilling into the hall at the original The Friends of the Library and the Library AdvisoryArlington City Hall building. Perhaps Mrs. Sam Owens Board launched efforts for passage of a new bondor Miss Mattie Mae McAskill introduced you to Black program and in 1993, a bond issue for $9.6 millionBeauty or Tom Sawyer. In the fifties, you may have passed, providing funds for collection development,checked out books from Mrs. Tom (Irene) Lee at the renovation of existing buildings, and construction ofhistoric Cooper House in Meadowbrook Park, which was new buildings.donated by Horace Cooper to the city for use as a In 1993, the Library System switched from a printedlibrary. card catalog to an automated library catalog. This same year, the Arlington Public Library Foundation was established with a mission to financially support the Library System. In 1994, the Central Library was renamed the George W. Hawkes Central Library, honoring the long-time editor and publisher of the Citizen-Journal. This was followed by a system-wide expansion of the branch library system over the following 15 years, including the construction of three new branch libraries: Northeast, Southeast and Southwest. In addition, theThe library outgrew the Cooper House in the East Arlington and Lake Arlington branches underwentburgeoning decade of the fifties, and the city purchased significant expansions and renovations and the 2
  6. 6. Woodland West Branch relocated. At the end of the To further the process of making library resourcesbranch expansion, most (but not yet all) Arlington easier to access forresidents were found to live within two miles of a Arlingtonlibrary facility. residents, the Library LiNK program was established in 2008with the Arlington and Mansfield Independant School districts. LibraryLiNKs in AISD and MISD schools provide a Southwest Branch circulating collection of materials for adults so that families can use school libraries together. These school libraries are open outside regular school hours to the families of Arlington Public Library System, 2011 children attending these schools. Library users may request materials from the Arlington Public LibraryTechnology has continued to change the nature of collection to be sent to the schools for pickup and maylibrary services over the years. As previously also return materials there. School library staffmentioned, the library first automated its circulation members are able to issue Arlington Public Library cardsand card catalog in 1994. Through the next decade, to adults and children. Regularly scheduledtechnology was added to allow patrons to check their programming is also offered for families with preschoolpersonal accounts and reserve items remotely. children at these sites. Locations for these collectionsAdditional service enhancements included telephone were chosen because of their distance from publicnotification of reserves and overdue materials. The first library facilities.public computers to allow library users to access theinternet and other online resources were installed in1996 at the Central Library. Since that time, publiccomputing expanded to all locations and a computertraining center was added to the Central Library. In2005, the Library began implementing RFID technologyto allow for self-service checkout of library materialsand streamlined materials management. Self-servicesystems now allow library patrons to use their librarycard to check out their own materials, pay fines, accessthe Internet and print from public computers. 3
  7. 7. OUR LIBRARIES East Neighborhood George W. Hawkes Central Library Southeast Branch Library East Arlington Branch Library Northeast Branch Library West Neighborhood Lake Arlington Branch Library Woodland West Branch Library Southwest Branch Library 4
  8. 8. OUR COMMUNITY:Current Population 370,217 65+ Age Distribution 7% Under Age Distribution 18 45 to 64 31% Under 18 116,056 22% 19 to 44 147,911 45 to 64 79,743 19 to 44 65+ 26,507 40% Population by Race and Ethnicity Asian or Population by Race and Ethnicity Pacific American Islander White 231,718 Indian 7% Other Race African < 1% 11% African American 64,523 American Two or More 17% Races American Indian 1,848 2% Asian or Pacific Islander 24,430 Other Race 38,992 Two or More Races 8,706 Total 370,217 Hispanic Origin (Any Race) 95,714 White 63% 2000 Census 2009 American Community SurveyHigh school graduate and higher (population 25 84.9% 82.8%years and over)Bachelor’s degree or higher (population 25 years 30.4% 28.2%and over)Foreign born 15.3% 20.1%Speak a language other than English at home 24.2% 33.5%(population 5 years and over)All families below poverty level 7.3% 12.2%All people below poverty level 9.9% 15.9%*Source: American Community Survey Demographic and Housing Estimates: 2005-2009 5
  9. 9. Connect Learn Grow LiveArlington Public Library FY 2011 – 2015
  10. 10. Live Support a better quality of life for our citizensGOALS: 1. We will establish and maintain welcoming and inclusive spaces (both physical and online) that provide convenient access and excellent customer service. 2. We will build a responsive collection of enriching materials in a variety of formats that support a lifelong love of reading and learning. How will we know when we’re succeeding? By achieving 95% citizen satisfaction on the COA Citizen Satisfaction Survey When Borrower Registration increases to 50% of our service population When our collection size reaches 2 items per capita When our Circulation of Materials reaches 7.5 items per capita What are we counting? Library Visitors Web page hits Self Service transactions 7
  11. 11. I’m retired after working for American Airlines for 30 years and am enjoying this time of my life immensely. I have the opportunity to read, watch and listen to things I never had time for when I was working. I’m listening to Ulysses in my car right now, while reading a John Sanford thriller on my e- reader. My wife and I are working our way through all of the Godfather movies again in the evenings this week.My parents died when I was very young and after I had my own childrenI became determined to be able to tell my kids something about theirfamily. I didn’t really know much about genealogy research, but thelibrarians at the Central Library showed me the ropes and I now have afull “family tree” for my kids (and THEIR kids now!). I’ve gotten sointerested that I’ve now self-published several books on local historyrecords and I help other genealogists with their work. I’ve LOVED being able to put holds on books that I want to read for pleasure and have them sent to our LibraryLiNK school. I’ve also put holds on science fair books to use in my 5th grade class. By the time I leave school at night, pick up my kids and get home to fix dinner, grade papers and help my own kids with homework, I’d never have time to make it to the library. Its also great to be able to tell the parents of my students that they can find a book that will help them deal with their child’s behavior or learning disability right here in our school. 8
  12. 12. Learn Build and nurture literacy and a lifelong love of learningGOALS: 1. We will support individuals who wish to learn to read and write, continue their education or improve their workplace skills. 2. We will strengthen partnerships within our learning community by providing leadership, coordination, and resources. 3. We will provide opportunities for users to learn to find and evaluate information efficiently and effectively. How will we know when we’re succeeding? When 60% of all Arlington Reads learners achieve one of their literacy goals When 90% of participants are very satisfied with information literacy courses What are we counting? • # of learners enrolled • # of learner contact hours • LibraryLiNK circulation • LibraryLiNK program participants • # of information literacy program participants 9
  13. 13. Barbara (a teacher of parenting teens): This was a wonderful “hands on” experience for the students involving books that perhaps they would have missed otherwise. They have been given vision for the rich experiences they can have with their babies, toddlers, preschoolers, etc. to share together for a lifetime of exploration and learning. I believe some seeds of greatness and change have been planted in these young mom’s lives and their babies by this program. Thank you to all involved for caring. Jessica: I have learned a lot throughout the program of Life Through Literacy. For one, reading is vital in every aspect in our baby’s life. Obviously, singing to our baby is not only fun but important to our children’s growing. Reading and singing is important to the development of our baby. It also helps build the love of reading and the connection between our self and our babyI have my own personal struggles with feeling humiliated, having to getmy GED, and even having to confess to my 14 year old, mom is notperfect! It was very hard to tell my son, but he is my biggest supporter(along with my husband). I feel like the teacher wants you to succeednot just in math, but to genuinely succeed period. Just wanted to thankyou, for having such good people helping with the program who dontmake you feel stupid or inferior, that was a huge concern of mine, butafter meeting Arlington Reads staff that first day to sign up, I felt theirsincerity in wanting to help me. One day my manager came and asked me do I want take an English as a Second Language class. I had only one answer, “YES” because I knew how much I need to learn and be able to say my feelings, my wishes, my opinions and the most important thing perform my job the best how I can. I have learned a lot thing what I did not know. ESL hours were very important because I know now about the health care industry, what does the health care providers work and the facilities where they work. The new thing for me was choosing a health care career, working on communication skills, nonverbal communication, use the prefixes, sentence structure and so much more….. 10
  14. 14. Connect To one another, to our neighborhoods, to the online worldGOALS: 1. We will build strong neighborhoods by connecting people with opportunities to serve their community, interact with their neighbors and link organizations sharing common goals. 2. We will provide equitable access to technology that builds bridges to opportunity, interaction and ideas. 3. We will connect users to information sources. How will we know when we’re succeeding? When grant/gift funding from the community is 5% of the general fund budget When we have 1 computer for every 1,000 residents When 90% of users are very satisfied with the Library’s virtual services What are we counting? • # of volunteer hours • # of neighborhood contact hours • # of computers sessions & average time to wait • hours of staff technology training • # of Information Live and reference by appointment sessions • # of Arlington Funding Information Center sessions • # of information literacy program participants 11
  15. 15. With the help of library staff I have learned to use the computer in such a meaningful way. Now, I can connect with my family who live far away and even know how to use Facebook to share stories and pictures with them! I have learned to create email lists to stay connected with my neighborhood association, plan community events, and I am now publishing and distributing a monthly newsletter to my neighbors to keep them engaged and connected to services in our city.I recently graduated from UTA and am starting my own businessproviding logistics services for small businesses in Arlington. Thelibrary has been critical to my successful first year in business byproviding access to databases, computers, and professional research. Ikeep up with trends in the market, identify potential clients throughthe business resources, use the free wireless for a comfortable placeto stop in and work quietly. Library resources have helped me to keepmy overhead low and have gotten me through my first year ofoperations successfully! I’m a sophomore at UTA and live close to the Northeast Branch Library, and I am able to walk to the library to use their computers to complete my online coursework. Since my father and I share one car, I can’t get to the UTA campus as much as I would like to . I have also made great use of the free online language programs to help with my French class. The library staff are so friendly, and the atmosphere of the library is very energetic and creative. 12
  16. 16. Grow Guide and encourage our children as they develop into successful adultsGOALS: 1. We will create environments, opportunities and activities for youth that are safe, stimulating, and encourage exploration, imagination and learning. 2. We will show parents and caregivers how to prepare their young children for success in school. 3. We will involve youth in positive experiences to keep them in school and out of gangs. How will we know when we’re succeeding? When 75% of Arlington youth have a library card When Summer Reading Club participation increases to 5% of Arlington youth When all LibraryLiNK schools achieve TEA Recognized status What are we counting? • Youth program attendance • Circulation of children’s and teen materials • # of families enrolled in early childhood literacy programs • Teen volunteer hours • # of information literacy program participants 13
  17. 17. I have been coming to the library since I was 2 but I did not get my card until I was 5. It made me feel glad and like I was 7. I LOVE it because I can check out my books. My favorites are Henry and Mudge and the animal books and the readers. It is my favorite card in the whole world and I always carry it in my blue purse.Meghan’s mom: I am new to the area and have two smallchildren. We visit story time throughout the library system.Each presenter is unique and we love them all! My babyenjoys all the songs and interactive play time in the BouncingBabies program and my older child loves the stories, crafts,and puppet shows in Listener Time. When I went to Nichols Jr. High, my mom had to work til 7:00 and she didn’t want me to walk home by myself so I’d go Northeast Branch and hang with friends and study and stuff afterschool. I go to Lamar now and sometimes me and my friends will go the The Studio at the downtown library to use the laptops there when we have papers for school, since we don’t have the Internet at home. It’s cool to be able to have a place like that just for kids our age where people don’t get onto us if we’re talking and being a little loud while we’re working. My mom wants me to go to the programs they have about getting into college. 14
  18. 18. On March 23, 2006, the Arlington Public Library Advisory Board adopted a 5-yearstrategic plan, the first for the Library. The plan was based on documented needs of thecommunity, ongoing citizen input of desired services, and diligent work of Library staff.Its foundation was a legacy of library service going back to 1922.The Strategic Plan Committee choose six service areas that would be the focus forLibrary staff, Advisory Board, Foundation, and Friends for five years. For each of these,specific goals (where do we want to go), objectives (how do we measure progress), andactivities (what will we do and when will we do it) were developed.On the following pages you will find summary reports from each of the six focus areas,detailing their successes, challenges and performance measures. 15
  19. 19. General Information Materials per Capita 1.67 1.69 1.67 GOALS: 1.64 1. Become a community resource of choice for information on a wide range 1.47 of topics related to work, school, social, civic, and personal life.FY 2006 FY 2007 FY 2008 FY 2009 FY 2010 2. Build a collection of Library Card Registrations information resources in 159,434 multiple formats and in multiple languages that 148,620 effectively covers the broad array of interests and 134,075 information needs of our128,679 127,130 community.FY 2006 FY 2007 FY 2008 FY 2009 FY 2010 3. Provide quick, courteous and accurate responses to a wide range of information Database Searches requests, in person, over105,851 103,607 the phone, and through the Internet. 91,004 85,602 73,713FY 2006 FY 2007 FY 2008 FY 2009 FY 2010 16
  20. 20. A library that offers General Information helps meet the need for information and answers to questions on a broad array of topics related to work, school and personal life. Opening the Southwest Branch Library in 2008 ensured thatOUR SUCCESSES: most residents now live within two miles of a library building. Because the greatest predictor of library usage is proximity toThe goals of the General Information focus area were a library, the opening of this building was the final step in thedirected at getting the message out into our community plan envisioned in 1993 to bring convenient library service toabout the wide range of resources and services provided by all Arlington residents.the library. Progress was made during the period of the planas library card registration, after hovering at around 30% ofthe population for the last decade finally began to climb OUR CHALLENGES:upward to an toward the objective of 50% of the population. The per capita spending for collection materials in 2010 wasWhile library card registration certainly does not portray the $2.25, which, as illustrated in the later section discussingentire story about the community’s perception of library resource allocation benchmarks, is strikingly lower than theresources and services, usage indicators such as circulation of expenditures of other similar libraries, both locally andmaterials and facillity and website visitors continue an even nationally. In analysis of library statistics, library circulationmore marked upward climb, serving to confirm inroads made (i.e. library usage) is clearly correlated with a higher numberin “market penetration.” of materials per capita and higher collection expenditures perTwo library card campaigns—the GOCard campaign for K-6 capita. In order to remedy this situation, library staffstudents and the MYCard campaign for teens in grades 7-12 continues to focus time on developing grant and gift fundinghave assisted greatly in building card registrations and sources for collection development.encouraging entire families to use the library together. In Marketing continues to be a challenge in a community whereaddition to the card campaigns, staff assigned to collection many citizens may not be familiar with the concept of a freedevelopment projects have spent time analyzing community public library, or where citizens do not have convenientneeds and borrowing patterns and have directed the access to a library building. Educating citizens on what the$1,250,000 in bond fund available from the 2003 bond library offers them will continue to be an area for explorationprogram toward purchases that expand the depth and and improvement.breadth of the collection. 17
  21. 21. Basic Literacy ESL Contact Hours GOALS: 6,088 1. Provide materials and programming that will build pre-literacy skills 1,961 in children and assure their readiness for 0 0 101 beginning elementaryFY 2006 FY 2007 FY 2008 FY 2009 FY 2010 school. Homework Center Sessions 2. Support families and educators in their work 1,961 1,761 to build a strong foundation in basic literacy skills for 619 494 366 children in the early elementary grades.FY 2006 FY 2007 FY 2008 FY 2009 FY 2010 3. Provide educational opportunities and Early Literacy Materials Borrowed resources for residents 435,781 424,866 of all ages learning to read and speak English 368,662 as a second language. 338,882331,341FY 2006 FY 2007 FY 2008 FY 2009 FY 2010 18
  22. 22. A library that offers Basic Literacy service addresses the need to read and to perform other essential daily tasks.Our Successes: In addition to providing literacy services to our residents, theThe creation and extraordinary success of Arlington Reads is a program has also assisted faith-based groups with startingmost profound highlight of the Library 2006-2010 Strategic their own literacy programming and providing support andPlan, exceeding our expectations and continuing to grow resources to existing literacy programs within Arlington. Theeach year. Hundreds of students have been reached, other Arlington Reads program is supported by an Americorpsliteracy and ESL providers in the community have a new VISTA program grant from the Corporation for National andsource of support, training and resources to help them and Community Services. This program provides full time VISTAnewly trained volunteer tutors are impacting lives every day. members who commit to serve full-time for a year at aStudents are achieving citizenship, earning a GED, nonprofit organization or government agency, working tosuccessfully getting jobs, connecting the world in new ways fight problems such as illiteracy, improve health services,and improving their self-esteem and ability to master basic create businesses, strengthen community groups and muchlife skills. more. In addition to this strong support, the Arlington Reads program also works closely with the Arlington IndependantCurrently, the Arlington Reads literacy program consists of a School District, United Way of Tarrant County, United Way -number of initiatives, including: 1) The Learning Zone Arlington, the Tarrant County Literacy Coalition and the Northtutoring program for grades 1-3, held at both the East Texas Future Fund. These partners have providedArlington and Southeast Branches; 2) Early literacy collaborative programming, training, as well as funding for joint initiatives. Our Challenges: One of the largest challenges we face with our literacy programming is in meeting the vast need we have to fill in the community. According to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy Survey, one in five adults in Tarrant County cannot read well enough to succeed at a 4th grade level. However, less than 10,000 adults are currently enrolled in literacy programs in Tarrant County and those programs that do existprogramming, including Wee Reads and Le Seras; 3) Life often have a waiting list. Like many literacy programs, theThrough Literacy: a partnership with an infant mortality non- service capacity of the Arlington Reads program is dependentprofit and the Arlington Independent School District Parent on the number of volunteer tutors able to provide assistanceEducation Program (PEP); 4) English as a Second Language and on grants and donations raised by the Arlington Public(ESL)and Basic Adult Education programs – both one on one Library Foundation.tutoring and small group; 5) Conversation Circles programsfor adults to practice their language skills; 6) GED instruction:an online program supplemented by small group tutoring; 7)Citizenship instruction; 8) Youth enrichment programs suchas the Fittnesista’s health literacy programming for tween-age girls, youth summer science camps, writing enrichmentprograms, etc. 9) Workplace literacy programs held atworksites such as Arlington Memorial Hospital 19
  23. 23. Lifelong Learning Adult Program Attendance GOALS: 11,701 1. Provide increased 9,247 8,488 opportunities to 4,933 5,888 Arlington citizens of all ages that foster interest in acquiring newFY 2006 FY 2007 FY 2008 FY 2009 FY 2010 knowledge and skills. 2. Support educational Juvenile and Student Library Card Registrations institutions and families 54,097 with materials and 49,743 programming that will 42,920 ensure that Arlington’s39,347 37,959 children and teens will become life-long learners.FY 2006 FY 2007 FY 2008 FY 2009 FY 2010 Educational Resources and Databases Used (in sessions) 12,031 5,783 3,342 1,458 940FY 2006 FY 2007 FY 2008 FY 2009 FY 2010 20
  24. 24. A library that provides Lifelong Learning service helps address the desire for self-directed personal growth and development opportunities.OUR SUCCESSES: In addition to providing learning opportunities for children and teens, a greater focus has been placedOne of the greatest changes that has taken place in on making sure that learning does not end withlibrary resources over the last decade has been the formal school enrollment. Program offerings haveaddition of online learning tools that library expanded to ensure that adults of all ages have thecustomers can utilize from the comfort of their own ability to continue to learn new skills and interests.homes. These services are not only convenient, but An activity of note has been the addition ofalso interactive. Services added during this time numerous book clubs in all library locationsperiod include: Live Homework Help: an online tutoring service for students in grades K-college. Learning Express: test preparation and practice service, including SAT, ACT, TAKS, GRE, and professional certification tests. Language Learning help: the vendor providing this service has varied over the years from Rosetta Stone to Tell Me More and finally to Mango Languages, but the service has always offered a variety of languages (including ESL) for OUR CHALLENGES: users to choose from. This area has been an area of many successes asAs mentioned under the General Information explained above. Our greatest challenges to thissection, the GOcard and MYCard campaigns, focus area has been in prioritizing initiatives tofocusing on students in grades K-12 have helped to ensure greatest impact. Marketing the high qualitysupport the formal learning offered by our local learning opportunities offered for adults has roomschool districts and ensure that the lifelong learning for improvement and selecting cost-effectiveprocess is started off right. In addition, increased methods to reach the most users is an area forfocus on collections for students has resulted in a further development.43% increase in the circulation of materials to ouryoungest learners. 21
  25. 25. Culture and the Arts The Studio Attendance GOALS: 1. Offer a collection of 6,294 materials and a 5,046 selection of 3,429 programming that Opened in 2008 reflect and celebrate the 0 0 cultural diversity of the FY 2006 FY 2007 FY 2008 FY 2009 FY 2010 residents of Arlington. International Language Collection Borrowed 2. Provide the 71,949 environment and 65,867 facilitate opportunities 59,322 for engagement in arts and cultural activities. 51,56846,646 3. Foster a greaterFY 2006 FY 2007 FY 2008 FY 2009 FY 2010 appreciation and understanding of the Cultural Program Attendance arts in Arlington’s 3,582 3,509 children and teenagers. 839 828 526FY 2006 FY 2007 FY 2008 FY 2009 FY 2010 22
  26. 26. A library that offers Cultural Awareness service helps satisfy the desire of residentsto gain an understanding of their own cultural heritage and the cultural heritage of others.OUR SUCCESSES: The addition of The Studio: teen arts underground, has been a notable success within this focus area and has allowed teenagers throughout the community the ability to pair their knowledge of technology with their artistic, musical, and Hispanic Heritage Month and Chinese New Yearwriting talent. This initiative continues to expand programs at all library locations.and develop and usage of The Studio resources andprogramming has grown at a steady rate since its OUR CHALLENGES:opening at the Central Library in 2008. In assessing the gains made in this focus area, oneThroughout the last five years, the library has of the conclusions drawn has been that the numbercollaborated with numerous community of other organizations contributing to the arts in theorganizations such as TCC, UTA, AISD, F6 Gallery community lessens our need to allocate resourcesand the Boys and Girls Club to display artwork in all toward developing arts initiatives. Instead,library locations, but most notably at the Central increased efforts will be made to partner with artsLibrary and the Southeast Branch. Display of organizations to ensure that they gain a higherstudent artwork especially has brought new visitors profile in the community and to give children andto the library, as well as adding to the enjoyment of teenagers the ability explore fully their talents incurrent library users. these areas.In order to promote cultural understanding andlearning, numerous cultural celebrations have beenfurther developed during the last five years andothers implemented for the first time. Notablecelebrations include the Central Library’s MedievalFair, the East Arlington Branch CourtyardCelebration and El dio de las Niños programming atboth East Arlington and Southeast Branches, Shareyour Passion programming at the Woodland WestBranch, as well as various Black History month and 23
  27. 27. Current Topics and Titles GOALS: Materials Borrowed 2,239,268 1. Provide rewarding 2,125,974 recreational experiences 1,865,0021,616,515 1,678,902 by supplying easy access to popular material dealing with current issues and popularFY 2006 FY 2007 FY 2008 FY 2009 FY 2010 culture in appropriate languages, formats and Visitors quantities. 1,597,549 1,612,189 1,463,788 2. Modernize facilities, furnishings, and 1,320,647 technology to ensure1,175,375 that our libraries provide welcoming andFY 2006 FY 2007 FY 2008 FY 2009 FY 2010 positive experiences for browsing, reading, or studying or meeting. Summer Reading Club Participants 4,842 3. Foster a lifelong love of 4,121 reading for pleasure in 3,837 Arlington’s children and 3,574 3,329 young adults by providing opportunities for families toFY 2006 FY 2007 FY 2008 FY 2009 FY 2010 participate in recreational reading activities together. 24
  28. 28. A library that provides Current Topics and Titles helps to fulfill community residents’ appetite for information about popular cultural and social trends and their desire for satisfying recreational experiences.OUR SUCCESSES: order to produce a stronger collection in eachSuccesses in the Current Titles & Topics focus area language. The proportion of fiction to nonfictionwere numerous and served to bring new users into and children’s to adult materials has also beenthe library as well as increasing the satisfaction and adjusted according to usage. . Because not allenthusiasm of current users. Circulation of fiction library users can “read” in the same way, libraryfor children, teens and adults has increased by staff obtained grant funding to hold a “Low Vision46.8% over the five-year period and attention to Fair” to ensure that all citizens, despite theirdeveloping designated “bookstore-like” spaces for physical challenges are able to access and enjoynew popular materials in all library locations has library services.contributed to these gains. Library staff continue to find cost-efficient methodsOne of the initiatives begun during this period was of improving the physical space of our librarythe addition of digital material to the library’s facilities and work closely with the Arlington Publiccollection. Downloadable audiobooks were a Library Foundation to obtain funding to that end.natural extension to the Library’s offering of books During the strategic plan period, the Northeaston tape and books on CD and have offered a greater Branch Library received a “facelift” with newconvenience to users. Additional digital offerings carpeting, paint and furniture and planning isinclude online book clubs and blogs that offer underway to obtain a similar effect at the Lakereaders a place to talk about books and get reviews Arlington Branch.and recommendations.The “One Book, One Arlington” annual program OUR CHALLENGES:offered library users the opportunity to all read thesame book at the same time and to come together Balancing popular materials with more “serious”to discuss and share perspectives. This program lent learning support material will continue to be aits theme to the Library’s READ posters, featuring challenge given the Library’s limited budget forlocal “celebrities” with their favorite books. collection materials. Recognizing that all of us, especially children, become better readers when weLibrary collections have become more community- read material that we enjoy continues to lendfocused as we monitor suggestions and circulation support for developing strong popular collections ofpatterns at the different branch locations. Over the fiction for all ages.past five years, the number of languagesrepresented in the collection has been lessened in 25
  29. 29. Information Literacy Computer Class Attendance GOALS: 1,558 1,327 1,155 1. Develop the skills of 903 students (K-12) and senior 488 citizens to find and evaluate informationFY 2006 FY 2007 FY 2008 FY 2009 FY 2010 necessary to make informed decisions and to Public Computers communicate successfully 188 184 in an electronic 174 161 environment. 129 2. Make certain that Library staff achieve competencyFY 2006 FY 2007 FY 2008 FY 2009 FY 2010 in information literacy skills and stay up-to-date in this rapidly changing Computer Usage (# of sessions) environment. 378,435 371,566 366,052 3. Ensure that Arlington job 282,852 seekers and small222,244 business owners have the skills to locate electronicFY 2006 FY 2007 FY 2008 FY 2009 FY 2010 information necessary for their success and can interact efficiently and effectively in an electronic environment. 26
  30. 30. Providing Information Literacy services helps address the need for skills related to finding, evaluating, and using information effectively.OUR SUCCESSES: OUR CHALLENGES:Wifi is now available in all Library locations in Technology and information literacy classes, whileaddition to access to public computers during all popular in throughout the period of the plan, werehours the libraries are open. In 2010, internet limited in their scope, only reaching a smallaccess was expanded to include the computers in percentage of library users, compared to otherthe Childrens Learning Centers of all libraries. This services such as borrowing materials, children’saccess provides children with online resources for programming and general public computing use.homework, exploration, and creativity. When staffing reductions were necessary in 2008, a decision was made to discontinue information literacy and software productivity coursework offered in the training center at the Central Library in order to allocate staff to other functions. When Arlington Reads VISTA/Americorps staffing increased in 2010 and workplace literacy became a prime focus, this coursework was reintroduced at both the Central Library, as well as the new Family Learning Lab at the East Arlington Branch Library.Web 2.0 features (blogs, RSS feeds, Facebook and Limited measurement and assessment haveTwitter links, videos and surveys) were added to occurred regarding the usage of public computingpromote better patron communication options, as and the need for information literacy programmingwell as to give insight and advice on information for various citizen groups. Greater efforts in thissources and reading materials. Virtual reference area will be called for in the next five years.service through email and chat was implementedproviding real-time customized service whenphysical access to a library is not possible.A new Library website debuted in FY 2010,improving access and functionality to digitalinformation. Since 2006, total “virtual” use oflibrary resources (online catalog searches, webpagevisits, downloads, and use of databases) increased70% to 3.7 million in FY 2010. 27
  31. 31. Fiscal Responsibility While Fiscal Responsibility was not a designated focus area in the Library’s FY 2006 – FY 2010 Strategic Plan, each focus area did contain objectives and activities that underscored the need to develop the most cost-effective programs and processes possible to deliver library services. The introduction of RFID technology and self-checkout systems in 2006 began a trend toward self- service for many manual and repetitive tasks which once called for staff intervention such as checkout of materials, renewal of materials, logging of hold requests, library card registration and payment of fines and fees. This has allowed staff to spend more time with library customers in answering requests for information and developing and implementing programs and has greatly changed the configuration and organization of staff, leading to a newly structured organization in FY 2011 to carry out the Library’s next plan of service. Resource allocation is discussed in greater detail and from a comparative perspective in the thirdsection of this document, Library Resource Allocation and Usage Benchmarks. The majority of the Library’s operatingbudget is allocated from the City of Arlington’s General Fund; additional monies are received from the Friends of theArlington Public Library, the Arlington Public Library Foundation, the Texas State Library and Archives commission.Individual and corporate donations are received both through the Foundation, as well as directly to the Library.The issues arising from the results of FY2006–2010 plans, as well as from general econimic conditions suggest that areas forfurther development in the FY2011-2015 plan include: 1) enhanced regional cooperation in order to reduce cost of servicedelivery; 2) increased community partnerships, focusing on the development of volunteer efforts to assist with servicedelivery; 3) focused attention on developing alternate sources of revenue, including individual and corporate donationavenues, as well as increased attention toward recovering revenue from overdue patron accounts; 4) investigatingbudgetary avenues for collection development purchases, including the use of one-time funds for this purpose. Operating Budget Summary in Years Grant and Glift Funding $8 Millions $7 Collection $6 Development Bonds $5 Library Materials $4 Collection $3 $2 Maintenance & Supplies FY 2006 FY 2007 FY 2008 Salaries & Benefits FY 2009 FY 2010 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010Salaries & Benefits $4,167,347 $4,692,860 $4,708,984 $4,869,949 $4,730,594Maintenance & Supplies $918,726 $1,222,944 $1,106,332 $1,242,897 $1,313,631Library Collection Materials $692,984 $787,781 $785,385 $835,385 $835,035Collection Development $250,000 $250,000 $250,000 $250,000BondsTotal Collection Funding $942,984 $1,037,781 $1,035,385 $1,085,385 $1,085,035Grant/Gift Funding $217,634 $249,327 $286,201 $359,360 $191,796Total $6,246,691 $7,202,912 $7,136,902 $7,557,591 $7,321,056 28
  32. 32. 29Library Resource Allocation and Usage Benchmarks Arlington Public Library December 2010
  33. 33. LIBRARY RESOURCE ALLOCATION AND USAGE BENCHMARKSBenchmarking is a process by which performance or • Holdings per capitaresource measures from an organization are compared • Visits per capitato the same measures of other similar organizations. The • Borrowers as a percentage of service arearesults of the process can assist with making evaluations Web visits per capita (FY09 only)relating to efficiency and service quality, as well asproviding data to make a case for increased resource Population Served and Number of Facilitiesallocation or service improvements. It also allows an The tables below detail the legal population of eachorganization to project how increases or reductions in library’s service area, square miles of service coverageresource allocations might impact service outputs and and the number of library facilities operated by thequality. Since library systems may vary in what services library system. Note that each library system, with thethey offer and how those services are configured and exception of Plano, has a Central Library and there arefunded, we acknowledge the difficulty of making exact varying numbers of branch libraries.comparisons from one library system to another. But thedata presented in this report allows us to see how our DFW FY07 07 08 09library system stands in relationship to its peers both for Lib FY08 Pop. FY09 Pop. #of # of # of Pop. Name Bldg Bldg Bldgpurposes of performance as well as assessment of its APL 367,197 369,150 374,417 6 7 7financial resources. Dallas 1,232,940 1,300,500 1,306,350 26 27 27 Denton 109,561 115,506 119,454 3 3 3For the past several years, the Library has reviewed Fortbenchmark data. The same libraries were used for the 653,320 702,850 720,250 15 15 15 Worthfiscal years 2007, 2008 and 2009 (Texas libraries only for Garland 217,963 228,450 222,650 5 6 4FY07) and, with exceptions as indicated. The data was Irving 196,084 215,893 201,358 5 5 5obtained using the Texas State Library Annual Statistics Plano 284,790 260,900 263,800 5 5 5for Texas Public Libraries, Public Library Data Service(PLDS) Annual Statistical Report, International As pointed out previously, the national libraries selectedCity/County Management Association (ICMA) Annual were chosen because they operated 10 or less branches.Performance Measurements, and directly from the Out of the 86 U.S. libraries reporting to PLDS (bothlibraries. Since the ending dates for the cities’ fiscal years municipal and county) serving 250,000 to 499,999, 51 orvary, FY 2010 data to these agencies will not be 59% have 10 or more branches. Only 16 libraries (19%)submitted until 2011. had 5 or fewer branches. The number of facilitiesThe data reported is presented in two sets. The first set is operated obviously has a marked effect on expenditures,a comparison of the seven largest multi-branch library staffing and other workload measures, so choosingsystems in the DFW Metroplex. The second set compares libraries with a significantly higher number of branchesa group of thirteen libraries located throughout the would not have been productive for the purposes of thisUnited States that serve similarly sized populations and comparison.have similar characteristics. Since many library systemsserving populations comparable to Arlington’s have a National Library FY08 FY09 FY08 # of FY09 # of Name Pop. Pop. Bldg Bldgsubstantially higher number of branches, an effort was Arlington 369,150 374,417 7 7made to select library systems with less than 10 Aurora CO 312,000 314,326 7 7branches. A higher number of branches will naturallyreflect higher expenditures on staffing, supplies and Corpus Christi TX 278,500 286,462 5 5maintenance. Each of the libraries in the national group Glendale AZ 243,540 246,076 3 3represents a municipal library system rather than a Greensboro NC 364,032 371,774 7 7county system or a multi-jurisdictional library district. Lexington KY 279,044 279,044 6 6 Lincoln NE 261,742 278,728 8 8The following data points were chosen for comparison: Mesa AZ 452,355 478,014 3 3 • Population served and the number of facilities Mobile AL 356,692 359,279 9 10 • Square footage of library space per capita Omaha NE 486,929 502,032 11 12 • Expenditures per capita Plano TX 260,900 263,800 5 5 • Materials expenditures per capita Virginia Beach VA 433,033 434,421 11 11 • Full‐time equivalent (FTE) staff Wichita KS 361,420 366,046 9 9 • Circulation per capita 30
  34. 34. Benchmarks, 2009Although all cities show increases in population, only Total Sq Total Sq Sq Ft per Sq Ft perGarland show a decrease in the total number of buildings Library Name Capital Capital Ft. FY08 Ft. FY09 FY08 FY09open to the public during FY09, while Mobile AL and Lincoln NE 188,400 188,400 0.72 0.68Omaha NE show increases. As further tables willillustrate, the continuing fiscal crisis in many cities and Mesa AZ 173,000 173,000 0.38 0.36states will affect not only buildings open or closed, but Mobile AL 163,091 177,141 0.46 0.49number of hours those buildings are open, materials Omaha NE 290,683 302,583 0.60 0.60expenditures, and total expenditures. These economic Plano TX 180,000 180,000 0.69 0.68impacts will also be noted in per capita changes in Virginia 301,405 301,405 0.70 0.69circulation and holdings. Beach VA Wichita KS 151,639 151,639 0.42 0.41Square Footage of Library FacilitiesThe tables below detail the total square footage of the Expenditures Per Capitacentral library and branch libraries for each library The charts below present how much each library systemsystem. For comparative purposes, we have calculated spends per person in its legal service area. In the DFWthe square footage per capita for each library system. Metroplex, Arlington spends the least per capita forThis data point shows the amount of library space library services at $17.90 per capita during FY09. Due toavailable for each person in the population served by the fiscal year cuts, all Metroplex benchmark librarieslibrary. showed at least slight decreases in expenditures per capita except for Irving. Sq Ft per Sq Ft per Library Total Sq Ft. Total Sq Ft. Capita Capital Name FY08 FY09 FY08 FY09 Total Expeditures Per CapitaArlington 127,875 127,885 0.35 0.34 $50.00 $45.00Dallas 1,002,152 1,022,045 0.77 0.78 $40.00 $35.00Denton 67,380 100,202 0.58 0.84 $30.00Fort $25.00 312,495 312,495 0.44 0.43 $20.00Worth $15.00Garland 126,907 120,895 0.56 0.54 $10.00 $5.00Irving 131,340 131,340 0.61 0.65 $- Arlington Denton Irving Garland Plano Fort Worth DallasPlano 180,000 180,000 0.69 0.68 FY 2007 FY 2008 FY 2009The changes in per capita square footage from FY08 toFY09 are the result of the opening or closing of various Out of the comparable 13 libraries nationally, onlybuildings, the renovation or expansion of existing Corpus Christi and Mesa AZ spent less than Arlingtonbuildings, and the changes in population served. during FY09. Due to fiscal year cuts, nine of the nationalArlington continues to have the lowest per capita square benchmark libraries showed a decrease in expendituresfootage among both the state and national benchmark per capita from FY08. As reported by the PLDS, the meanlibraries and, while it is easy to say that Arlington’s or average expenditures per capita for FY09 for librariesincreases in population have an ongoing impact on per serving populations between 250,000‐499,999 wascapita measures, the same could be said for all the Texas $38.01. Total Expenditures Per Capitabenchmark libraries and many of the national benchmark $50.00libraries as well. $45.00 $40.00 Sq Ft per Sq Ft per $35.00 Total Sq Total SqLibrary Name Capital Capital $30.00 Ft. FY08 Ft. FY09 FY08 FY09 $25.00Arlington TX 127,875 127,885 0.35 0.34 $20.00 $15.00Aurora CO 187,343 134,343 0.60 0.43 $10.00Corpus $5.00 96,500 108,500 0.35 0.38Christi TX $-Glendale AZ 113,630 113,630 0.47 0.46Greensboro FY 2008 FY 2009 162,149 162,149 0.45 0.44NCLexington KY 183,790 205,162 0.66 0.74 31
  35. 35. Benchmarks, 2009Materials Expenditures Per Capita 07 09The charts below indicate how much per person in the Total Total Total FTE FTE Library % Change FTEs FY FTEs FTEs per perlegal service area is spent on the purchasing of library Name 07 FY08 FY09 1000 1000 07–09materials (books, DVDs, magazines, electronic databases, Pop. Pop.etc.). In FY07 and FY08, Arlington spent the least per Arlington 112.75 110.75 108.5 0.31 0.29 -0.04capita for materials of any the benchmark group in the Dallas 515.00 445.90 436.0 0.42 0.33 -0.15DFW Metroplex. With funding decreases during FY09, Denton 49.50 49.50 49.5 0.45 0.41 0.00Dallas now has the lowest per capita expenditures for Fortmaterials with Arlington being second lowest. Five of the 263.50 308.50 207.8 0.40 0.29 -0.21 Worthseven Metroplex benchmark libraries showed decreases Garland 68.50 68.50 68.5 0.61 0.31 0.00in materials expenditures for FY09 compared to FY08. Irving 93.00 92.00 90.0 0.47 0.45 -0.03 Plano 173.00 165.00 167.0 0.61 0.63 -0.03 Within the national benchmarking group, Arlington ranks 9th out of the 13 libraries in staffing in relation to legal service area. With decreases in staffing at several of the benchmark libraries during FY09, Arlington is now only slightly below the median of 0.33 FTE staff per 1000 population. Staffing is often a factor of the number of facilities operated and the number of hours the facility is open since a base number of staff is generally necessary for building operation.For FY09, Arlington had the lowest per capita FTE # of # of Total Total %expenditures for materials for any of the national Library per Facilities Facilities FTEs FTEs Changebenchmark libraries. This though nine of the other Name 1000 FY08 FY09 FY08 FY09 08–09 Pop.libraries showed decreases in their per capita Arlingtonexpenditures for materials for FY09 compared to FY08. TX 7 7 110.75 108.5 0.29 -0.02 Aurora CO 7 7 104.00 91.2 0.29 -0.12 Corpus 5 5 63.50 64.5 0.23 0.02 Christi TX Glendale 3 3 86.76 86.8 0.35 0.00 AZ Greensboro 7 7 104.00 109.1 0.29 0.05 NC Lexington 6 6 182.00 261.0 0.94 0.43 KY Lincoln NE 8 8 117.00 111.5 0.40 -0.05 Mesa AZ 3 3 121.40 92.8 0.19 -0.24 Mobile AL 8 10 152.00 154.5 0.43 0.02 Omaha NE 11 12 154.00 157.0 0.31 0.02Staffing Plano TX 5 5 165.00 167.0 0.63 0.01The tables below describe the number of full-time Virginia 11 11 264.92 262.9 0.61 -0.01equivalent (FTE) staff employed by each library. The Beach VAnumber of FTE staff has a direct impact on the number of Wichita KS 9 9 125.30 121.8 0.33 -0.03hours the library can be open and the types of servicesthe library can offer. This is an obvious area where the Circulation per capitadecreases in library budgets have had a direct impact on Circulation is the measure of how many library itemsthe number of staff available to assist residents. All (books, DVDs, CDs, etc.) are borrowed by libraryMetroplex benchmark libraries showed no growth or customers, i.e. how much the collection is used. Thedecreases between FY08 and FY09. circulation per capita measure indicates how many items are checked out per person in the legal service area. Although Arlington continues to show good growth in total circulation year-to-year, with FY09 circulation of 5.68 per capita, the Arlington Public Library continues to 32

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