Athens stakeholder interviews august 2012


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  • From their perspective as key leaders in the communityTrends that could create opportunities for the library or impact its futureImprovement in terms of additional, more effective, or more efficient services to the community Wanted to learnTheir relationship with the libraryStrengths and weaknesses of the libraryTrends Unmet community needsOpportunities for improvementAdvice for us$1,000,000
  • It is a gift to have the input of non-users.
  • What do you see as the Library’s particular strengths? What are they doing well?
  • How could the Library improve in terms of providing additional, more efficient, or more effective services to the community?
  • Let’s think now about trends that you see in this community or in the wider world. Trends might include a shift or change in the population or community needs; competition for our services; political, social, economic, or technological changes. What trends, from your perspective, could create opportunities for the library system or impact our future?
  • What are some of the unmet needs this community has?
  • What opportunities do you see for the library to improve or strengthen its relationships with you and with other community partners?
  • What opportunities do you see for the library to improve or strengthen its relationships with you and with other community partners?
  • What suggestions do you have for the library as it looks for ways to tell its story—how could we do a better job of getting the word out?
  • One partner said they weren’t really clear on the library’s story—would like to know more.
  • Finally, what advice do you have for us as we develop our plan of service for the next 5 years? Anything else you’d like us to know that we didn’t ask about?
  • Finally, what advice do you have for us as we develop our plan of service for the next 5 years? Anything else you’d like us to know that we didn’t ask about?
  • Suppose the library had to take a significant cut in (state funding)? How would you advise them to prioritize the library’s services? What would you keep, and what would you cut?
  • Suppose the library were given a bequest of $1M with no strings attached. How would you advise them to use the money, keeping in mind the library’s mission and the community’s needs?
  • Athens stakeholder interviews august 2012

    1. 1. Athens-Clarke County Library Stakeholder Interviews Summary Prepared By Gail Griffith August 2012 1
    2. 2. Purpose of InterviewsTo collect data from keyStakeholders for input into the Strategic PlanTo enhance relationships and opportunities for collaboration 2
    3. 3. Who we interviewedBarbara Dooley, businesswoman and motivationalspeaker  Valdon Daniel, Principal ofDoc Eldridge, President and CEO, A-CC Chamber of Oglethorpe Middle SchoolCommerce (retired)Kay Giese, attorney and retired Municipal Court Judge  Phil Pollock, former head of UGA Institute of Government, TalkingCommissioner Kelly Girtz Book volunteerDon Nelson, Communications Coordinator, AthensTechnical College  Mary Quinn, former City Council, Friends of the LibraryDr. William Gray Potter, UGA Associate Provost andUniversity Librarian  Commissioner Harry SimsDiego del Pozo, UGA Lecturer, Romance Languages  Julie Walker, Deputy State Librarian, Athens residentAmanda Tedrow, Agriculture and Natural ResourcesExtension Agent, Cooperative Extension Service 3
    4. 4. Relationship with the LibraryAll positive!Some worked closely with the libraryEven non-users felt positive about the library and its importance to the community 4
    5. 5. StrengthsLibrary  Is a presence in the community, makes itself accessible and welcoming to all (5)  Outreach (3)  Levels the playing field, providing opportunities to all (2)  Involves the community (2)  Close relationships with partners and funders  Provides good community meeting space (2)  Provides broad range of services—programs, collection, public meetings, literacy (2)  Strong Friends group  Strong community support  Board members are involved—not „resume fillers‟ 5
    6. 6. StrengthsTechnology Staff Computer access for  Helpful and knowledgeable overall, provide good service (4) public, well-used (7)  Leadership and Advocacy— Keeps up to date Kathie is one of the strongest Directors in the state (3) Online access to PINES  Children‟s department staff and account especially strong (2) Computers important for  “Kathryn and her staff have job seekers done an incredible job with limited resources of providing what the community needs. “ Online access to library (2) 6
    7. 7. StrengthsPrograms Collection Youth programs (children  Good collection overall (2) and teens) excellent and important, help introduce  Book collection well-used children to reading (5)  Heritage, genealogy Community and educational programs (3)  Galileo Library is a good partner for programs—handles logistics well and attends to partner‟s needs 7
    8. 8. Weaknesses or Limitations More current e-Books—hard to find  More social networking anything both interesting AND available (2)  More activities to draw in the whole community? Ex: More books on CD (2) community forums, film festival Would love to see a significant around cultural issues branch with great children‟s services  More computer access for on the east side of town (2) disadvantaged?  Expand Heritage Room, Website could be more user-friendly provide access to statewide Wish we still had bookmobiles—both digitized materials (or promote a symbol and a way to provide if already doing) access  Space and programs for teens Establish more of a presence in  Space for tutoring fundraising—have to compete with  Space and informational many other organizations programs for seniors  Larger building and more hours Hard to retain staff if salaries aren‟t needed for Winterville competitive 8
    9. 9. Trends Shift to digital and online (7)  Caterpillar plant coming, with  Must be online to participate in the jobs (4) world; can‟t even find a job without it  Can library collaborate with  Technology influences how people labor department to reach read, learn, are entertained employees?  Free access to downloadable books, music, and movies could attract a  High poverty rate (4) group of non-users  Easy to get so much from home and  Education (3) office, need to work harder to draw  High dropout rate people in  New superintendent focused  It‟s everywhere—plants at Botanical and driven to improve system Garden will have QR codes  Increase in homeschooling  How to bring back teens once they go  Education is valued here online?  Growing senior population will need info and advice (3) 9
    10. 10. Trends Economic turnaround—when? (2) Athens is a music town—could the library tie into it? (2) Millennials are especially tech-savvy and looking at new and creative things High teen pregnancy rate Latino population growing Public agencies will have less funding, will need to increase partnerships and market their value even more 10
    11. 11. Unmet Community Needs Bifurcated community in terms of  Tremendous resources exist education, jobs, wealth—need to (UGA, Athens Tech); need to do serve both parts of the community (5) more to determine what synchronicities are possible Need to engage children in their own education, have more partnerships  20% of public school population with schools (2) is Hispanic, many come from homes where only Spanish is Community always needs space to spoken come together and engage in activities (2)  Access to computers  Winterville doesn‟t have as many parks and recreational  Jobs (great that Caterpillar is opportunities coming)  Need to reach children Birth—4 through child care providers and  Taxes—not getting enough from pre-K programs the tax base 11
    12. 12. Ideas for Partnering UGA (6)  Athens Tech (2)  More technology and digitization  Orientations for students projects with UGA (2)  Role in training for Caterpillar?  Internships for journalism majors  Maintain Library Board connections  Hold more community events that  Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at appeal to broad range of UGA (OLLI) people—not just literature-based programs (2)  Local history/genealogy programs with UGA Special Collections  Friends help at Winterville Library  Whatever It Takes: Athens School district (3) Community Plan for Children Library does a good job partnering with  Health services (UGA hospital) the arts and going after grants (2)  Full-day conference with multiple speakers from CES—maybe a fundraiser for the library? 12
    13. 13. Opportunities to Improve Relationship? “You are doing it now by reaching out to me! I feel like I need to get involved now.” Be more visible participants in events like those of the Chamber of Commerce, where many potential partners come together. Many expressed interest in creating more links to the community themselves—seemed to be waiting to be asked! 13
    14. 14. Ways to Tell the Library‟s Story Outreach (4)  Go to schools and talk to students  Visit large employers and tell them what‟s in it for their employees  Distribute online newsletter to partners, have them link or distribute within their network Already doing a good job. Word does seem to be getting out—library is busy! (4)  Mentioned hearing info on radio (2) Create relationships with opinion leaders and use their word- of-mouth; face-to-face works here (2) Social media—does library have a Facebook page? (2) 14
    15. 15. Ways to Tell Story Need a new marketing campaign with new attitude to go along with the new building. “We‟re here—we rock and roll.” (2) Get a consultant, skilled volunteer, or marketing intern to help analyze your promotion. Community has large group of retirees with expert knowledge. (2) Seek out opportunities to have events like candidate forums that could be broadcast from the library Market on black radio stations using topics of interest like health, money management, raising teens Library Board is key—they should be connected and use their connections 15
    16. 16. Advice for Us Continue to think about how to leverage  Serve everyone, including resources and keep them going (3) the disadvantaged  Retain good volunteers, keep program organized  Partner to help each other, pull  Look for ways to draw non- together—maybe work with schools, users in get SPLOST money as partners  Will have to become more of a public-  Work with leaders of the private partnership, go after funds Hispanic community It‟s all going digital, you have to be there! (2)  Ask for suggestions from the public and show how Maintain good relationships with elected you‟re acting on them leaders Make sure you have marketing and technology expertise on your Board 16
    17. 17. Advice for us May need even bigger facility in next 5 years, or a satellite facility on the east side Your biggest challenge will be persuading the powers that be that everybody needs to be served—not just certain sections of the population. Continue to welcome everyone—everyone “can be a star at the library.” “Don’t give up! Think of yourselves as a crucial community resource. Don’t lose sight of this—you are education and learning at the core. And don’t be afraid to say it!” 17
    18. 18. Keep at all Costs… Keep technology alive (4) “Children‟s services are the most critical. Nobody else is doing what you are doing for children.” (3) Basic collection (2) Facilities in lower-income neighborhoods Hours of operation Cut hours, not services (knows they have had to do this and would like to see cuts reinstated) PINES system Talking books could be absorbed by the State 18
    19. 19. $1,000,000 Gift, No Strings! Improve the lives of the disadvantaged (5)  New branch on east side  Partner with social workers and educators to raise their sights  Expand Winterville  Ensure access to technology  Hire educators to give programs on Keep collection as strong as possible (3) environment, obesity, other important topics Keep up with trends, including technology and  Focus on library as community gathering place resources accessed remotely (3)  Outreach—go into the community with books Put together a dynamite marketing and programs campaign that makes people think of the library as exciting (2)  Focus on serving teens, seniors, and millennials Put some in an endowment for future needs (2)  Augment salaries and benefits to retain quality staff 19