Rocking the Joint - How We Grew the Newest Camden County Library System Branch

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  • Introduction of presenters. This slide will be up as people come into the room before the presentation begins.Play YouTube videoWe will show a short 5 minute video before we begin our presentation
  • On behalf of myself and my colleagues Gary Golden and Dave Lisa, I’d like to thank you for coming to our panel today. introduce Julie Tozer. Jerry SzpilaGary: RU point of view, changes to the Robeson library, Linda: back up how we started serving Camden, idea for the branch and how we did itDave: from opening day current state of branch, good things, challenges we have faced10 minutes at the end of the program for Q & A.Short statement which sets the scene for the panel presentation, then transition to Gary.
  • Gary – How the Rutgers Camden branch came together – The Rutgers perspectiveChancellor Wendell Pritchett Hired in 2009Strong Advocate for public education at all levelsAdvisor to Camden Mayor Dana ReddEstablished civic engagement office and challenges everyone on campus to participate.“Through efforts large and small, Rutgers–Camden is deepening its presence in the community, sharing our many resources to achieve common goals”.Larry Gaines Associate ChancellorIn charge of campus financesBetter known as the “money man”Gary Golden Director of The Paul Robeson LibraryHired in 1986All resources of the library are available to anyoneTried for many years to have programs with the Camden Free Public LibraryComputers for public to useI embrace and welcome changes that make a library a better place to study and do researchInclude pictures of Wendell Pritchett, Dana Redd, Larry Gaines.
  • The Process to an AgreementThe meetings between myself and the Chancellor begin In the Summer of 2011I was told by the Chancellor that the Library needed to be 100% committed to this project or it is a no go.I met with my faculty and staff, University Librarian, and campus faculty to get their buy-in.Biggest concern was they wanted more space and I could not give up any more space.Numerous other meetings were held and everyone, including Freeholders, County Library, and Rutgers bought into the program.Photo of people coming together to an agreement text to notes.
  • The area in the basement now occupied by the County Library was book stacks and study areas. Very traditional.
  • Same as previous slideAfter the County Library—compact shelving$770,000 dollars of compact shelving filled the basement
  • What Rutgers People or Departments Make Use of the County LibraryCenter for Children and Childhood Studies Rutgers Camden Future Scholars ProgramStudents living in the dorm and all faculty and staff have access to all resources and may borrow materials.Anyone wanting to read a current magazine or newspaper, or browse a general and children's book collection.Graphic for either childhood studies or future scholars. – website? – picture of people reading
  • What Makes this Project Unique and a Winner for the Citizens of CamdenThe only other joint academic and city library in the United States is the San Jose State University and San Jose City libraries. This project cost over $120 millionCitizens needing more research assistance can use the Paul Robeson Library and access over 120,000 online resources.Citizens have access to all the resources at Rutgers Camden and the Camden County Library System.Picture of use of the library by county photog
  • What Makes this Project Unique continued Steady funding source vs. Camden CityComputers in both libraries for city residents to use.Help using any resource.Photo use of computer use inside branch
  • Significant Changes in the Paul Robeson LibraryReallocated space from the Robeson Library for the County Library and the Rutgers Computer Center. Allowed funding to be obtained forWithdrawing approximately 150,000 volumesReplacing all furnitureNew lights, carpet, and paint throughout libraryPictures of inside of Robeson – what it is now
  • Changescontinued13 group study rooms with appropriate technology will be builtNew HVACNew Special Collections Room3 new offices for staffBy 2014 every square inch of public areas will have been renovatedPictures of inside of Robeson – what it is now
  • Changescontinued13 group study rooms with appropriate technology will be builtNew HVACNew Special Collections Room3 new offices for staffBy 2014 every square inch of public areas will have been renovatedPictures of inside of Robeson – what it is now
  • The Future Looks GreatWithin 3 blocks of the libraries there are1,200 K-12 students at LEAP 206 children from 4 weeks through pre-school ages 3 and 4Over 3,600 students and staff on the Camden Campuses of Camden County College and Rowan UniversityThe Robeson Library provides library services to students and staff from these 2 campusesAlmost 7,000 Rutgers student, faculty and staff.Will investigate cooperative programs with the County Library, Rutgers, Rowan, Camden school district, LEAP, and the Camden County College Weare library for Camden County College/Rowan Camden CampusesPhoto of childrens programs at RU branch. – photo from opening with children
  • The Future Looks GreatcontinuedAcross the street is a Law Clinic that provides more than 20,000 hours of free legal adviceTeaching computer lab with 40 computers can be used for training in job searching, filling out online applications or resume building. Computer lab picture
  • ConclusionThe dedicated staff at the County Library + Rutgers commitment to Camden = a sure bet that there will be new and exciting programs shortly. Photo of another popular program at the branch?Gary’s story about the group of kids visiting the library.
  • Phone call fall 2010 Camden city joining the Camden County Library SystemDaunting—serving additional 77,000 residents—largest service pop of any community we serveUrban area , as NBC news segment indicated most dangerous city in America 2012, 62 homicidesCrosses placed in front of city hall for each person murderedSee this at county meetings, his is environment or backdrop in which we were working
  • Also economically depressed area2 out of every 5 residents live below the national poverty lineLess than 1/3 have access to high speed internet in their homesHigh school graduation rate is 49%, second lowest in state
  • Adding to all of this was the situation with Camden City LibrariesCamden City had no funding for libraries and was closing library branchesLot of negative press in local and national newsLibrary closures, underfunding, layoff of City library staff
  • Lots of reasons why a library director would not want to get involved in serving Camden CityVery daunting prospect—facing these issues while continuing to run 6 other branchesBig shift for me and for CCLS --serving suburban areas, little exposure to issues urban libraries facing
  • visited the Federal Street library, shocked at conditions of libraryCrumbling walls, holes in the ceiling, lights off Collections were not up to date—no new materials in five yearsUsing stamp pad and rubber stamp to check out books, card catalog—no ILS, no online catalogDid have computers—gates grant, limited technology 
  • Despite this, libraries being used, every computer in use, fullI saw how many people relied on the library for internet access and to search for jobs I saw how much need there was in the city of Camden.Residents deserved great library services. deserved libraries just as good as the ones my children useMade decision-- –we would not only serve residents of Camden, we would give them amazing librariesSame level as what suburban residents have.Determined—great press, turn this around. Seen positively in the media, doing a good thing.
  • First challenge—fundingDedicated tax—enough for only one branchStart with Ferry Avenue, newer location, 10 years oldOther expenses: opening day collection, budget for ongoing collectionsRetrospective conversionStaffingJohn Langan and Judy Nadell, Townsend Press, write books for urban youth. Shared passion is putting books into hands of young people.150 K start up expenses
  • Second challenge—navigating politics and the press.Press was intense, national and international very negative regarding Camden City closing libraries. (say what slide is)Learned quickly how to deal with on the spot tv interviews, press calls.Told story of what we hoped to do to help residents, benefits of county lib systemIncrease in operating hours, more resources, etc. Got very good press, media excited and pleased with what we were doing.
  • Third challenge—short time frame. Opened branch in four months. City closed libraries on a Thursday. We re-opened as a County branch on the following Monday. Hired and trained staffOrdered and processed and shelved opening day collectionPut all county services in placeTechnologyCompleted weeding retrospective conversion and migration and training on ILS three months later. When opened continued pencil and paper circulation.
  • Success! When opened circ was 117 items a month, 6 months later increased almost 6,000 items a monthComputer use second highest branch in the systemPrograms—author visits, philadelphia zoo, teen advisory group, crochet club, gaming days, film screenings, harlem renaissanceDVDs!Digital collections and online resources—residents could search and reserve items onlineHomework help
  • Success but not satisfied. Only serving one neighborhood. How to serve rest of the city? Did not have funds for another traditional branchThink creatively. Collaborate in non traditional way Inspired by Shelf Life—successful experiment, co-location, inexpensive partnership.District of Columbia’s temporary express libraries—small, compact—better use stats than their regular branchesWho to partner with, shared space and resources?Brought vision and budget for collaborative small scale library to County officialsFreeholder liked vision shared with Wendell Pritchett at RU
  • Got the second phone call that changed my career—space in basement robeson libraryCould have said, basement, no way! Had open mindSpace was stacks in lower level. Windows all around top.Could visualize a library there. Had vision to know it could work.
  • Started to meet and work with officials from Rutgers Process surprisingly smooth considering how many entities involved and politics to navigateAll on same page, win win for all involvedAll parties committed to serving and reaching out into camden communityLibrary branch seen as positive addition to camdenTurn around city—expose young people to college campus, bring library services to residents, jobs, literacy
  • Project: 2.5 million Worked with RU architect and designerChallenge--fit a lot in small space—5,000 feet 20 seat computer classroom—used jointly by Rutgers Future Scholars Program21 computers, Multipurpose programming roomCollections: 11,500 volumesFocused on childrens and most popular high demand materialsFit everything in ---- small but efficiently designed does not feel cramped or small
  • Opened branch in April 2012, one year after first meeting with the ChancellorPlayful spaceBright colorsSustainable materials—counter, ceiling tiles made from recycled materialsCustom curved counter with quartz top is one of main features
  • The finished product.Laminate floorSeating for public computers affixed to floor neat and aligned, keeps order in small space
  • The finished product.Multi-purpose room. Adjustable height tables, Back is a craft storage and creation area with countertops and two sinks.Storage very important, built in storage where ever we could
  • The finished product.Faux skylightDream Explore ImagineStory boy on branch opening day April 2012
  • Dave – Opening eventThe opening event for the Rutgers Camden Branch occurred on April 4, 2012. Outdoor event, that occurred near the branch.After the event, attendees came inside to tour the branch.The kick-off was a high-profile event with media and many politicians present.All attendees were very impressed with the branch.As Linda mentioned earlier, a telling moment occurred when a young child expressed such excitement a seeing the inside of the branch that he could not contain his excitement.Dave’s perspective on openingOpening graphic
  • Dave – Opening and current status of the branch.The Rutgers Camden branch began gaining momentum immediately. All of our public PCs began to fill up and remained full for entire days shortly after opening.It became immediately obvious that demand for innovative service at the branch would be very great.Right now, a little more than a year after opening, the Rutgers Camden branch is in very popular with all kinds of customers: Camden city residents, CCLS customers from other branches, RU Camden students, staff and faculty, and others discovering library service for the first time.
  • Dave – Currently, after a year openWe are extremely pleased to be delivering high quality library service and collections to our customers in Camden city through this new branch.As our colleague Gary will attest, the branch also serves to offer up a collection of borrowable items that complement the Robeson Library’s collection, since academic and public library collections differ.
  • Dave – Ongoing state of the library. Good stuff.Drawing upon each others expertiseFeatured in American librariesOutreachProgramming – browse through newsletter for examples of unique programs to RU branchTax program – by Rutgers university Camden Law SchoolThe success of the collaborationCollaboration with NyeemaPicture of the library in use – successful use – program photo from flickr?
  • Dave – Challenges at both Ferry Avenue and RU branchesParkingSecurity – mention policeMention Ferry ave juvenile incidents. We are adapting security there but have had to close evening hours. Closed evenings since february. Our first priority to make sure we have a safe environment.Adaptability to issues in an urban campus that we were not used to. Within two hours we got calls about two separate incidents. I was at Computers in Libraries,RestroomsTechnologyAcademic library/County library operating differences
  • Dave – Challenges at both Ferry Avenue and RU branchesParkingSecurity – mention policeMention Ferry ave juvenile incidents. We are adapting security there but have had to close evening hours. Closed evenings since february. Our first priority to make sure we have a safe environment.Adaptability to issues in an urban campus that we were not used to. Within two hours we got calls about two separate incidents. I was at Computers in Libraries,RestroomsTechnologyAcademic library/County library operating differences
  • Dave – We are not finished yet. How can we do more? What are the creative things we can do?Serving the rest of the cityHow do we do this?More innovative solutions to come?What about North Camden?What about the other areas of Camden?
  • Questions and comments – 10 minutes. Also, introduce Julie Tozer.
  • Final slide. This slide should remain up after the end of the presentation while people are coming up to ask questions.
  • Rocking the Joint - How We Grew the Newest Camden County Library System Branch

    1. 1. Rocking the Joint:How We Grew the NewestCamden County Library BranchLinda DevlinDirector, Camden County Library SystemGary GoldenDirector, Robeson Library, Rutgers CamdenDavid LisaAssociate Director, Camden County Library SystemNew Jersey Library Association ConferenceJune 4, 2013
    2. 2. Before the County Library
    3. 3. • The area in the basement became all compactshelving. Almost $850,000 was spent on thisand additional compact shelving. We doubledour capacity.
    4. 4. Linda – Creation of theRU Branch
    5. 5. Questions?Comments?
    6. 6. Thanks!• Linda Devlin (ldevlin@camdencountylibrary.org)• Gary Golden (gary.golden@rutgers.edu)• David Lisa (dlisa@camdencountylibrary.org)

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