A library’s biggest challenge is being prepared for whatever the next best thing will be and cultivating a staff culture that welcomes that challenge.
In order to make that a reality, we wrote a grant to: provide training for staff, increase access to titles in multiple formats, and support patrons using their library cards to download e-books. This grant, entitled Customer Experience in a Digital Age, is funded through the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners with funds from LSTA (Library Services and Technology Act), a Federal source of library funding provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Since our upgrade in membership in C/W MARS, West Boylston residents have had greater access to materials from the collections of over 150 other libraries. Our patrons accustomed to browsing have actually found decreased access to physical copies of best sellers waiting for them on the shelves. This grant will provide us with funding to lease additional copies of the most popular titles and to set these titles aside for our patrons who browse.
Our patrons now enjoy the ability to fully utilize the popular OverDrive collection of library e-books thereby putting additional pressure on an already stressed system. This grant will provide funding to purchase additional titles to make more e-books available for the many to share. Additionally, we will provide training for all staff to familiarize each with the electronic devices used to read these e-book titles. In turn, all staff will be better prepared to assist our readers needing help navigating the complicated e-book landscape.
Finally, the library will work at a web site redesign to improve the public’s access to most library resources 24/7 on multiple platforms. The Friends of Beaman Library, as our partners in this grant, continue to support the library’s technology needs and will provide funding for e-newsletters for our patrons and electronic devices for staff use.
Of course, the library’s greatest resource goes home at night! I would like to thank each staff member who is working to make this grant a reality and who has accepted the challenge. There will always be new technologies to be learned and new customers discovering the advantages of utilizing the library’s entire collection.
Customer service is the cornerstone of all we do; this grant will help it remain so. Would you like to help us in our efforts? Take a moment to access our annual Feedback Survey by following this link. Thanks!