Cambridge Public Library

Nov 8: Meeting with Community Learning Center Staff


Community Learning Center Staff

Minutes of Meeting, Friday, November 8, 1996

In attendance: Bob Aimo, Angela Aimo, Pamela Becket, Ligia Borrero, Barbara Brooks, Joan Bruzzese, Nellie Dedmon, Debre Foxx, John Galli, Linda Huntington, Erik Jacobson, Margie Jacobs, Esther Leonelli, Betsy Lowry, Susan Nylen-Quesada, Mina Reddy, Mildred Rivera, Lally Stowell with Ted Burton of Library 21

To provide access to all the people of Cambridge and to insure that we manage our resources well, Library 21 is gathering information from as many groups as possible about what the people want.

What would you like in the library?

A. Community Activity Center

  • Provide community meetings rooms in main and branches
  • Have part-time staff at each branch who live in the neighborhood and can respond to and understand neighborhood needs
  • Let resources in branches be b based on needs of the communities

B. Community Information Center

  • Provide easily accessible list of library resources and programs at each branch: like a mall directory
  • Have icons on homepage for easy access to e-mail city, state, federal officials and representatives

C. Formal Education Support Center

  • Have library staff provide outreach to Community Learning Center
  • Relocate Community Learning Center to expanded Central Square branch
  • Provide spaces to support library as homework and study center
  • Establish Learning Center classrooms in some key branches to be staffed by Learning Center Personnel
  • Provide spaces to support library as homework and study center

D. Independent Learning Center

  • Provide sound-proof rooms to serve as tutoring spaces in all branches and at main library
  • Provide training in computer and internet use

E. Popular Materials Lending Library

  • Include as part of the libraryís mission statement that it be ìan open resource for readers of all levelsî
  • Have staff trained for multi-lingual visitors
  • East and North Cambridge need low-literacy programs
  • Make sure library users can access internet on a 2 way basis: E-mail, chat rooms, etc.
  • Have easy-to-read and easy-to-use Homepage for library, with icons for non reader or low-level reader access
  • Provide talking computers for visually impaired
  • Develop accessible CD-ROM library
  • Provide lap-top computers for use in library
  • Provide computers with printers at branches and main for resume writing
  • Provide computers at branches and main for general word-processing needs
  • Provide language lab
  • Provide listening stations like BPL music room
  • Provide tape recorders for use with books on tape, ESL, childrenís tapes, etc.
  • More easy-to-read adult books for adults gaining literacy skills
  • More childrenís and adult magazines, newspapers, and books in different languages keyed to neighborhood needs
  • Provide small business library at Central Square branch

F. Preschoolers Door to Learning

  • Provide day care at library

G. Reference Library

  • Provide library staff to support computer use, ideally sometimes on one-to-one basis
  • Make it possible to schedule a meeting with a librarian to help with a specific search or task

H. Research Center

I. Other- important functions missing from list

  • Expand the Central Square branch so that it can better serve the needs of the community
  • There is more ìvitalityî in Central square. Broadway location seems more ìacademic,î seems to serve ìWest Cambridge and Brattle Streetî neighborhoods
  • Central Square branch should be main library: serves more a variety of the people- ìgive it prestigeî
  • Think of main branch as just one branch- decentralize
  • Designate certain staff members as a kind of ìwelcoming committeeî
  • Provide specific training for permanent staff who will welcome and orient library visitors
  • Let new visitors know and feel that itís ìO.K. to askî for help in finding oneís way around library
  • Make visiting the library less intimidating
  • Make it possible to schedule an orientation with a librarian
  • Make sure to involve communities in determining needs and resources
  • Do informal interview of users at all branches to determine needs
  • Provide more open hours for the library at night and one weekends
  • Consider closing libraries in the mornings or one day during the week, if necessary, in order to provide more hours at night and on weekends
  • Attractive displays; books face out
  • Conduct regular surveys in each neighborhood branches to determine wish lists for additions to collections

J. An Important Civic Building

Visiting City Hall

Cambridge City Hall

795 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge MA, 02139
Ph: 617-349-4000
TTY: 617-349-4242

Hours of Service

Monday: 8:30am-8pm
Tuesday-Thursday: 8:30am-5pm
Friday: 8:30am-12pm

Louis DePasquale
City Manager

Lisa C. Peterson
Deputy City Manager