The largest percentage of any library’s budget is dedicated to its personnel. Ensuring that the library staff is well-trained, well-coordinated, and well-motivated, is essential to excellent customer service. Library Strategies helps libraries focus on improvements through a variety of methods, including staffing studies at the organization level as well as position-specific analysis, staff retreats and workshops for idea generation and team building, interviewing key stakeholders, and other best practices. The result is increased organizational efficiency and effectiveness. Most importantly, we have the experience to tailor the appropriate method to your goals for a unique – and highly successful – outcome.
Duluth Public Library (MN)
The City of Duluth contracted with Library Strategies to recommend efficiencies for its next year’s budget by examining the Duluth Public Library’s operations and facility with the goal of maintaining or improving scope and quality of library services. This was to be done concurrently with an architectural team developing a facilities alternative plan for the library for the city’s consideration.
Library Strategies consultants interviewed key library staff and conducted a full-staff retreat. Consultants also attended meetings between city officials and library staff, as well as the library’s Board of Trustees. Duluth Public Library was benchmarked against other regional libraries, a staffing study was conducted, and advice on operational efficiencies was offered. Additionally recommendations were developed allowing the library to move from a traditional, siloed, and staff-intensive library to a more open, self-service model, which allowed staff time to provide better customer service through more meaningful interactions.
Although reporting independently, the Library Strategies consultants and the architectural team were able to inform each other’s work, leveraging their respective expertise for deliverables that could be immediately implemented with longer-term improvements built into each of the facility options presented to the city. In this way, changes were justified, efficiencies realized, and planning begun for a new facility rooted in 21st Century library practices.