PUBLIC LIBRARY CONSULTANT
Aaron Cohen Associates, LTD follows a solid methodology to discover service strategies for public libraries. This methodology remains valid even as technologies change. It begins with a planning schedule that starts with an orientation, and takes careful steps to deliver successful outcomes.
We believe it is important to anchor our study to the library’s mission and vision statements. Based upon them, we investigate the culture, demographics and geographical environment that the library must function within. Our goal is to focus upon the efficiency of operations and services, and their desired performance growths. We believe in the importance of user and non-user input, and the fostering of creative approaches that benefit the variety and diversity of the community that the public library serves.
The following is a quick outline of our methodology.
- Understand the current situation. What is the library -- a community, an organization, etc. How do we build more responsive service in regards to operational efficiency and management of services? What has been identified in previous service planning activities, as well as in the studies and reports available?
- Understand the desired performance. How to streamline the library service in light of the present demographic, operational, organizational and economic/financial, system resources, and the current political situation?
- Determine the gap. What are the breaches between current and desired outcomes? How can we determine what is an efficient library service that is flexible and responsive to current and future needs?
- Create a measurement framework. Do this by determining enablers and barriers to objectives. How can we measure realignment efforts and determine a formula for future growth?
Address the following key issues, including but not limited to:
- Service delivery models.
- Planning methodologies.
- Materials and equipment selection and acquisition.
- Best practices within the community.
- Best practices from outside the community.
- Funding sources (public and private).
- New sources for additional funding.
- Resource specialization and sharing of expertise.
- Formula for growth and change.
- Resource assessment of skills, and areas where flexibility could be employed.
- Shared service points.
Establish “best practices” with recommendations.
- Identify opportunities to close gaps. The idea is to attain desired performance. Levels.
- Determine enablers and barriers to potential opportunities. How can we determine measurements that lead to a successful realignment effort?
- Detail findings in an interim report. This report contains “Opportunities for Advantage,” and should be reviewed by the Library Committee,” Director, Library Managers – and as required, by staff, government officials, users as well as non-users.—indeed, the community at large.
- Conduct additional analysis, as necessary, from a prioritized list contained in “Opportunities for Advantage.”
- Identify future recommendations. How to prioritize future programming strengths of library service?
- Identify Gaps between desired and future recommendations.
- Review and synthesize all analysis outputs. How can the final list of issues and recommendations be shared with the public library’s community?
- Provide a Final Report. Also, provide a presentation, and question & answer session.