Cambridge Public Library

Library 21 - Phase 2 Interim Status Report

9/1/1996

LIBRARY 21 COMMITTEE: REPORT OF ACTIVITIES AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS

INTERIM -- PHASE TWO: CASTING A WIDE NET

SEPTEMBER 1996

The purpose of this phase, "Casting a wide net -- the envisioning phase" is to gather fresh input and exchange of all aspects of what should go into a library system, with emphasis on the Main Library. This phase starts in September and continues through December 1996.

This report is an interim report and its purpose is to chronicle activities and results during the month of September.

Library 21 Committee meetings

Two meetings were held, the 4th and 16th of September. Highlights of these meetings included:

  • The overall schedule for the entire process was presented for comment; the process will have six phases and will end in May of 1997. The general sense of the Committee members present, although no vote was taken, that this outline was the appropriate approach. There were -- and will continue to be -- changes to refine this outline.
  • The Cambridge Public Library strategic plan for 1995-2000 was outlined for the purpose of seeing how the work of the Committee meshed with it. There was a sense that the Committee's goals and process would provide information that will support the goals of the library.
  • Representatives from Cambridge Community Schools, Youth Program and ____ commented on how the library could enhance their own services and how the library as an institution could be more welcoming to young people. The Language Arts Coordinator for K-12th grade felt there was significant value to sharing programs between the school department and the library.

Work Groups

All of the work groups have made progress:

K through 8th grade readers-- conducted a survey of participants in the library's summer reading program and plans to collect information that is representative of all schools in the city

Young adult readers--this group is getting started

Other libraries--their focus has been to determine which libraries in other parts of the country are relevant to Cambridge's experience and to develop a series of questions to ask them; the goal is to learn from their positive and negative experiences

Information technology--has invited two people from the Harvard University library system to work with them-----

Neighborhood Work Groups--meetings were held in Central Square Library for the Cambridgeport/Riverside neighborhoods and in the East Cambridge Library for that neighborhood. For the former meeting, the Central Square Neighborhood Coalition took the organizing lead and dropped and mailed out 4000 flyers. At each meeting, a series of questions was asked to encourage people to discuss how they would like to use the library. Meetings are set up for West and North Cambridge; each neighborhood will have two meetings. Outreach for Mid Cambridge and Area 4 are planned as well. The goal is to provide a local, comfortable setting for people to talk about what they want to see in a library system.

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