Leadership Cohort Meeting August 20, 2019

Meeting Purpose
Update on CIG work plan and introductory conversation on Systems Thinking.

Agenda

1:00 – Gather
1:05 – Start

  • Welcome
  • Community Impact Goals
    • Work plan overview
  • Systems Thinking
    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPW0j2Bo_eY
    • “Exploring Your Own Story” exercise – The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook by pages 103-108
      • The problem is: Circulation and general use of the library has been decreasing over the past few years.

Meeting Notes

Systems Thinking Exercise:

Problem: Circulation and general use of the library has been decreasing over the past few years.  What are the key factors that seem likely to capture the problem or are critical in telling the story?

  • Competition for customers time
  • How does the trend compare to pre 2007-2008 trends?
  • How does trend compare nationally?
  • Are people reading less?
  • Library at Work and digital are going up
  • Are we meeting what our customers want?
  • Rise of easy delivery from other services – Amazon / Netflix
  • How many can’t make it to library based on work schedule?
  • Is this space (or any public space) considered safe?
  • People don’t know what library has
  • Priorities have changed – reading not as much of a priority
  • Some aren’t physically able to walk that far (aging population)
  • Compare the bus route schedule to circulation time.
  • Who is using our resources the least? What areas?
  • Public opinion of TSCPL and public library and perception – has this changed?
  • Where are the barriers to physically get to the library?
  • How good of a job are we doing in measuring outreach efforts?
  • How do demographics come into play?
  • Why do people choose not to use the library?
  • Some service make it possible to use us less
  • Too many books on shelves
  • Generational changes?
  • Shared materials with allergies is an issue
  • Construction / movement of collections
  • What other necessities are people using to triage their life (and don’t use library)
  • Large central library – is it time to go to more branches / co-locations
  • People want to stay home more often (home deliveries up)
  • Older adults feel left out – more for kids at library – but a lot of innovation and money going to Boomers
  • How many partners really know what we do?
  • Programs – how much is not recorded?
  • Local population changes
  • Is what we’re circulating what they need?
  • What are people doing instead?
  • Can check out without coming in
  • Just buy it on Amazon vs waiting on hold
  • Has divisive society changed willingness to come to communal space?
  • What BKM stops are used most often?
  • People deterred by bedbugs?
  • Cost of using service (replacement costs / overdue fees)
  • What are the community agencies seeing a rise in the use of their services?
  • Digital age – how does a physical building fit in a VR world?
  • Looking at impact of tariffs and amount of disposable cash
  • What does community look like with aging boomer generation? What about when they’re gone?
  • Boomers are evil and wealthy (GM)
  • Status of libraries in schools – are kids learning to use?
  • Fighting stereotype of antiquated library – the library is out of date and irrelevant
  • How families who use library fit it into their schedule
  • When we add cards what brings customers to library?
  • Unexpected environment – quiet vs. noisy
  • Competition for other activities – especially when you have kids
  • In school don’t have to use library – do it all online
  • How do circulation numbers compare to print and eBook sales?
  • Family resources being used for basic needs
  • Social agencies and churches building their own lending libraries e.g. Parents as Teachers
  • Do younger people have To Be Read lists
  • Trends in targeted, privatized social services
  • Little Free Libraries – lending within own community
  • Brain research on concentration and impact of smartphones more easily distracted
  • Are people more / less selective on what they choose to focus on
  • Renaissance – people knew a lot about science, etc. / People today are exposed to much more information
  • Do people think reading is as important as they used to in the past?
  • The world is on fire! Why read a book?
  • How many people can’t read?
  • Instant gratification
  • Are we getting dumber vs. information overload
  • Just because people don’t read as much doesn’t mean we’re dumber – different types of smart
  • “Like and Share” generation
  • Failed to train generations the necessity of the library – it’s important to raising a healthy child
  • So much media, there is no longer just on big read (e.g. Oprah’s Book Club)
  • Have we been too much of a people pleaser? Go back to just books?
  • Resource equity – more than just information
  • What are we counting as circulation?
  • If everyone had access to affordable and reliable internet access how would that impact circulation?
  • General distrust of institutions
  • Value and values – we struggle with
  • In trying to remain neutral and avoiding offending people, have we alienated people?
  • Staff aren’t “elected” to represent different parts of community
  • Are we still true to our original identity and values?
  • How do we define our success?
  • How do we evaluate what we do?
  • How many kids come to library and spend 3 hours on a computer – how do we “count” them?
  • As other organizations change their service models, how will we change?
  • What other fires are people having to put out before checking out a book?
  • Do we have materials people want us to have? “I don’t see myself in what you have” – Demographics
  • Is circulation going down a problem?
  • “When I went on vacation I’d pack a couple of books. I don’t do that anymore”
  • Is library education producing people ready to take this on?
  • Some can pay for convenience
  • Ask the community, “Are you reading less?”
  • People don’t want interaction – don’t ask me questions
  • How does the library stay relevant given these issues?
  • Impact of technology on content
  • What about content the library can’t circulate?
  • Companies purposely leaving out libraries (MacMillan)
  • Library as access point for closed digital systems e.g. Netflix. The place people make the connection to content
  • What gets people excited about something? What is the difference between people using us and saying “meh” and those that sing our praises?
  • What is the difference between those who don’t use us, those who do, and those who do and sing our praises?
  • Barnes and Noble changing to boutique experience – make each store different
  • Is our culture becoming more nomadic?
  • How many people had a negative experience at another library?
  • Systems – CD players no longer in new cars – tech trends but don’t leave people behind
  • How long can we count on the benevolence of those who don’t use us to support us?
  • What makes the library an experience?
  • Do schools market libraries and show kids how to use them?
  • eBooks vs. print – further discussion for Leadership Cohort

 

Future Topic

  • Digital downloads and physical materials

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