We've Accomplished so Much!

What has OPL accomplished in the last six months?

Here at the library, we are engaged in a strategic planning process and through that process, we have developed a new mission statement, a vision statement, core values, and three-year goals.  

You've probably seen "explore, connect, and grow" on some of our materials recently, including our last annual report and all of our summer program materials.  This year our (coming soon) annual report will be focused on YOU and Your Oakland Public Library.  That's because our mission is, "Your Oakland Public Library empowers all people to explore, connect, and grow," and we take it quite seriously.

Hopefully our core values aren't a surprise to you, as we aspire to infuse them into everything we do.

And what about those three year goals?  Well, in no particular order, we are working to:

  • Reach more people where they are
  • Improve our physical spaces
  • Increase operational efficiencies
  • Increase funding
  • Develop, retain, and attract quality staff

As part of this process, members of staff and administration meet every six-months for an intense day of reflection, conversation, and planning.  

The most recent of these meetings took place yesterday, and was started off with an amazing brainstorm of the strengths and accomplishments of the Oakland Public Library since the previous planning meeting (August, 2017).  This was rapid-fire brainstorming, based on our perceptions and input from staff at every level and it is certainly not exhaustive.

    

WHAT ARE THE STRENGTHS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF THE OAKLAND PUBLIC LIBRARY SINCE THE AUGUST 2017 STRATEGIC PLANNING RETREAT?

Brainstormed Perceptions:

  • Great reputation of OPL and our services
  • The MOVe (mobile outreach vehicle) is in fabrication
  • Eclipse Program was a huge success
  • Regular care villages
  • Got a Charlie Cart
  • Racial Equity Team is working
  • Have fax and scanner stations
  • Purchased our health and safety items
  • Holds are getting to patrons faster
  • More offsite programs
  • Started to coordinate adult programming
  • Changes to teacher card
  • Outreach efforts are coordinated and expanding
  • Patrons can use credit cards to pay for printing
  • Lots of new hires
  • Hired a company to assess the Main Library’s electrical and data lines
  • Series of cooking programs starting at West Oakland
  • Favorable media coverage
  • Translation of print materials into Vietnamese and Arabic
  • Assessed how to improve wifi access
  • Collection HQ is being implemented
  • Completed a return on investment (ROI) analysis of major services to demonstrate their value
  • EveryLibrary did a staff training on how to advocate for libraries
  • Acquired an additional virtual reality headset
  • Elmhurst got new gutters
  • Giving away books at the Mayor’s Thanksgiving Dinner
  • Play Café expanded to more branches
  • Giving away books at the Piedmont Avenue Holiday Parade
  • New check-in station near Sorting
  • New Senior Library Assistant in Acquisitions
  • New venues for Discover & Go
  • Regular job fairs (every six months)
  • We have hygiene kits for patrons
  • Expanded wifi hot spots
  • Tinker Lab at Main
  • We have enough bins
  • Tool kit for evaluating children’s books about police
  • Girls Who Code Program at Chavez
  • Tax Help Program extremely popular
  • Continued commitment to removing barriers for patrons
  • We updated the policies and procedures on the staff website
  • Branch profiles are in progress
  • Committee meeting minutes are on the staff webpage
  • Expansion of the Toy Lending Library with new menus
  • Junior Carpentry Club success at Eastmont Branch Library
  • We have staff in charge of delivery services
  • Teen Services is fully staffed
  • Received funding for children’s furniture--$230,000
  • Critical Response Committee
  • More transparency from Library Management
  • Ballot measure for the parcel tax was written
  • High quality trainings
  • Improved workflow in Technical Services
  • Working in America exhibit at the Main Library
  • MyPC implementation
  • Updates to the staff website
  • Scanning and color printing for patrons
  • Increased focus on adult programming
  • First Oakland History Room/AAMLO joint-sponsored movie on James Baldwin (with the filmmakers) with approximately 200 attendees
  • Social Workers in the Library Program
  • New Teen Advisory Board at 81st Avenue
  • Expanded oaklandlibrary.org/stories to include collection of stories by the public
  • Collected interviews with patrons whose lives have been changed by the library
  • Network bandwidth upgrades
  • Self-check and laptop kiosks at Dimond Branch
  • Patrons like Hoopla
  • Patrons love our staff—they are knowledgeable and friendly
  • Popular adult programs that were very well-attended (including Black Panther Program, East Bay Yesterday, Black History Month, Lit Quake)
  • Oakland Has Jobs (Instagram) is growing
  • Most new hires have City Outlook accounts

What did we miss?

Comments

As a retired librarian in the

As a retired librarian in the Northeast, I am well aware of the range of possibilities and ever-changing challenges for public libraries. For the past 15 years, I've visited my grandchildren in Oakland several times a year and am continually impressed by the quality of OPL's services--including at the 4-5 branches I visit. Congratulations on this array of accomplishments....from the big to the small, it's true that everything you do matters. From each welcoming smile to technical intricacies to the full range of the Wimpy Kid series--you're making a difference in our lives. Thank you.

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