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'Working session' scheduled for Lower Mills library on Oct. 25

Boston Public Library officials have scheduled "working sessions" at each of the four libraries slated for closure. In Lower Mills, the community meeting is scheduled for Oct. 25, 6:30 p.m. at the branch library on Richmond St.

At the last similarly-structured meeting, held at Carney Hospital, neighborhood activists clashed with library officials.

The other dates and times in the other neighborhoods include:

Thursday, October 28, 6:30 – 7:30 pm at the Faneuil Branch, 419 Faneuil Street in Brighton.

Wednesday, November 10, 6:30 – 7:30 pm at the Washington Village Branch, 1226 Columbia Road in South Boston.

Thursday, November 18, 6:30 – 7:30 pm at the Orient Heights Branch, 18 Barnes Avenue in East Boston.

Full release after the jump:

Boston Public Library Strategic Planning & Working Session Schedule
Gatherings in October and November, Plus a Blog and Online Session

BOSTON — October 7, 2010 – This week, the Boston Public Library (BPL) announced its plans for the second phase of its strategic planning process which includes six strategic planning sessions held across the City, one of which will be convened online; a user survey; focus groups; blog; and postcard campaign. The library’s strategic planning process is called “the BPL Compass.”

The first phase of the library’s strategic planning process began in Fall 2009, during which more than 1,000 comments were collected over a three-month period. These comments came via public sessions in Hyde Park, Mattapan, and South Boston. Other sources of comments and ideas were Boston Public Library staff sessions, a staff blog, a staff Compass committee, a Trustees Compass committee, a community blog, meetings with BPL affiliates and friends, and more.

The Trustees Compass committee was formed under the leadership of BPL Trustee James Carroll and BPL President Amy E. Ryan. The committee offered ideas about the future of information and learning as well as on the multi-dimensional role of libraries. The committee’s work was combined with the staff and public engagement comments to create a set of draft principles to guide the Boston Public Library to future success.

The second phase of strategic planning will involve sharing the draft principles with BPL staff and the greater library-using community in order to collect more feedback and comments. The draft principles will be refined based on this feedback and presented to the BPL’s Board of Trustees for discussion and adoption at the end of calendar year. The goal is to create a public document that identifies core principles that build on the library’s existing strengths and provides a framework for achieving excellence. Boston Public Library work plans, service plans, fundraising initiatives, and other decision-making will flow from the identified principles.

In the second phase of the strategic planning process, the Boston Public Library will use an online survey, blog, focus groups, postcard campaign, and strategic planning sessions convened both in-person and online. The online survey was launched on www.bpl.org on October 1 and already has collected more than 4,000 responses. This week, postcards featuring questions from the survey will arrive at all BPL branches for people to be able to express their votes and opinions on paper.

Later in October, a community blog will be launched on the library’s website, followed by a launch of the strategic planning meetings. The schedule for those meetings is as follows:

1. Saturday, October 23, 1:00 – 3:00 pm, Open House and Launch of Strategic Planning at the Central Library in Copley Square, 700 Boylston Street
2. Wednesday, October 27, 6:30 – 7:30 pm, Strategic Planning Session at the South End Branch, 685 Tremont Street
3. Saturday, October 30, 10:00 – 11:00 am, Strategic Planning Session at the Grove Hall Branch, 41 Geneva Avenue in Dorchester
4. Wednesday, November 3, 6:30 – 7:30 pm, Online Strategic Planning Session at www.bpl.org
5. Thursday, November 5, 6:30 – 7:30 pm, Strategic Planning Session at the Charlestown Branch, 179 Main Street
6. Tuesday, November 9, 6:30 – 7:30pm, Strategic Planning Session at the Roslindale Branch, 4238 Washington Street
7. Saturday, November 13, 1:00 – 2:00pm, Strategic Planning Session at the Dudley Branch, 65 Warren Street in Roxbury.

In addition to the second phase of strategic planning, the Boston Public Library will be holding working sessions in Lower Mills, East Boston, Faneuil/Oak Square, and the Washington Village/Old Colony Housing Development. Since April 2010, the BPL has been reaching out to communities where branches are slated to close. Several informal meetings were held to gather feedback on library services. Beginning this month, the Library will return to the community and hold working sessions in each of the four neighborhoods.

Those working session dates and times are as follows:

1. Monday, October 25, 6:30 – 7:30 pm at the Lower Mills Branch, 27 Richmond Street in Dorchester
2. Thursday, October 28, 6:30 – 7:30 pm at the Faneuil Branch, 419 Faneuil Street in Brighton
3. Wednesday, November 10, 6:30 – 7:30 pm at the Washington Village Branch, 1226 Columbia Road in South Boston.
4. Thursday, November 18, 6:30 – 7:30 pm at the Orient Heights Branch, 18 Barnes Avenue in East Boston.

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