library system has four buildings, a main library and three branch libraries
that are connected by a computer network. The
staff has 51 full-time employees and approximately 52 part-time employees who
are equal to 21.85 full-time equivalents (FTEs).
library system is governed by a nine-member commission appointed by the Mayor to
serve a term of three years. One
third of the commission is subject to appointment each year.
library’s operating budget is approximately $4.2 million. The library’s largest service is lending materials for home
use. This year the library lent
over a million pieces of material. The
second largest service is answering the public’s questions whether by
telephone or in person. Each year
we process over 100,000 questions. Our
third largest service is programming. We
had a total of 572 programs with a total attendance of 17,256. We also provide an outreach service to the homebound and
deposit collections at seven senior citizen housing units. This year we have delivered over 7,135 materials to the
seniors and the homebound.
The Library Commission’s role is to deal with long-range planning, budgeting, policy and general oversight. During the past year the Library Commission has:
Made progress in the development of a Library Foundation. Commissioners Candyce Abbatt, Robert Taub, Nancy Zakar and David Schlaff, working with advisor Ed Bovich, have completed the state paperwork necessary for starting a Foundation and are working on the federal paperwork. In addition, they are actively seeking a chair for the Foundation.
Revamped the policy regarding Book Clubs, thereby allowing more clubs to participate in the Book Club program.
Changed the Collection Agency Policy. Currently, patrons with a $50 outstanding balance are sent to collection. The Library will gradually reduce this amount by $5 until the outstanding balance threshold is $25. This process is expected to take 18 months.
Approved the Technology Plan 2002-2004 and the Code of Conduct for Library Patrons.
sponsorship of the Summer Reading by the 32 Masons of the Valley of Detroit.
Supported the expansion of the Library’s public Internet service.
Highlights of the Year
year the library system has made progress in a number of areas that make the
library more useful to the community. The
new three-year technology plan is keeping our improvements to the computer
system on track. The plan deals
with all aspects of the library hardware and software.
Importantly, this year the library has added more computers for the staff
and public to use. We have planned
for the replacement of the Dynix computer server by obtaining budget approval in
the 2002-2003 budget. In this past
year, the library has upgraded the web site not only in the amount of
information offered but also in making the format and design friendlier to the
year the Staff Net Committee worked on ways to convert our staff schedules from
paper to electronic form on our internal web site.
All schedules appear on Staff Net and staff are keeping them current.
Electronic schedules reduce our use of paper and are more convenient.
All committee members of Staff Net are working on information pages that
will aid other staff in working more effectively.
A great deal of experimentation is being done and successful work is
being copied by the other agencies. A
new home page, index to manuals, a place for meeting minutes, and many other
activities are leading the library to a more electronic environment.
Marketing Committee has had a 95% completion on the large number of undertakings
in the prior Marketing Plan. During
this year, the Marketing Committee has developed a new three-year plan.
Rather than focusing broadly on facilities, services, collections, and
staff training in customer service, the new Marketing Plan is based on creating
a dialogue with over 200 community organizations. The Plan started with building a packet of handouts regarding
library services. The second step
was the creation of a strategy of reaching groups. At the same time, the Committee put together a
power-point presentation of the library services using many graphics to provide
interest. At this point, the
program has been tested with 25 groups.
All the library agencies are involved in this long-term effort and we are
developing a database to track our involvement with each community group.
We expect this marketing plan to keep us abreast of changing community
interests so that we can respond well with appropriate allocation of our staff
time and services to the public.
In terms of the library facilities we have had a good year. The Esper expansion is now completed and we are finishing the loose ends that always accompany a large project. We have installed new lighting in Henry Ford Centennial Library and renovated the fountain with the gift from the Moon family. Headsets for the hearing impaired have been purchased for the Henry Ford Centennial Library Auditorium and we are changing seating to accommodate wheel chairs. The new landscaping additions at Snow Branch have brought increased attractiveness of the library exterior and complemented the new signage.
library continues to have the good fortune of a vital Friends group that is
attracting new members and providing the library with funds for improvement.
Over the years, we have used the funds to provide new soft furniture for
adults and children, to pay for staff training, and to provide for consulting
for planned future improvements to our operation and facilities. In addition, the library has had an increasing number of
volunteers who work in our various agencies doing work from archive maintenance,
to shelving, to processing new materials for public use.
newsletters, published twice a year, are now complemented with the new
bi-monthly Teen Email newsletter to keep the teens updated on materials of
interest to them. We also have been
experimenting with an email reference service for the public.
collections of materials continue to be updated and the collections are being
used both in house and for checkout at ever increasing frequency.
In part, the collections are used more due to the citizens being able to
place ‘holds” with notification going to the citizen when the checked out
material is returned by another borrower. This
year we integrated the nonfiction materials in two agencies. This enables the public to see all the nonfiction we have on
a given topic.
All of the staff has contributed to a broad range of initiatives to keep the library a vital community service. Staff continue to develop new needed skills, to provide useful suggestions of new ways to work, and to integrate our services for the benefit of the public. The staff are the key to our success.