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Blackwood City Library Case Study. David Zammit Milos Neboska Damien Walsh Azeem Sajjad. Problem Overview . The Council is currently funding the library Cuts – library has to become economically self sufficient in three year’s time. Possible way to resolve the solution: IT system

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Blackwood city library case study

Blackwood City LibraryCase Study

David Zammit

Milos Neboska

Damien Walsh


Problem overview
Problem Overview

  • The Council is currently funding the library

  • Cuts – library has to become economically self sufficient in three year’s time.

  • Possible way to resolve the solution: IT system

  • Despite this suggestion, conflicts have surfaced

Current library problems
Current Library problems

  • A constant increase in maintenance costs

  • Users often complain of ‘inadequate and expensive heating systems, poor insulation, a leaking roof, water penetration though walls and missing or damaged damp-proof membranes’ (Blackwood case study)

Other problems
Other problems

  • Sheer decrease in library users over the autumn period.

  • Due to this, the library may not be receiving the necessary financial support which is certainly needed in order to keep in up and running.

Problem analysis
Problem Analysis

  • After going through the case study, we realized how there are three major publics :

  • Government

  • Community

  • Library Staff

    In the next slide, one can see how the following publics are linked, and the impact that they will have on the system being proposed.

Identification of relevant systems
Identification of Relevant Systems

  • Membership Fee System

    • Tiered system?

    • Partial conversion to IT-based system?

  • Commercialisation

    • Introduce permanent businesses?

    • Space-letting to businesses?

  • Partial-Digitisation of Volumes

    • Reducing staff requirements

    • Reducing space requirements

Membership fee system
Membership Fee System

  • May prevent individuals in the lower income bands from using the library.

  • Limited revenue generated from fees. May require other spending cuts.

  • No major change to library system

  • Incentive for users to contribute

    • “The more you pay, the better the library gets in general”

  • Users can opt in for advantages in exchange for a higher fee.


  • Some users may disagree with the involvement of businesses in a public library.

  • Might change the atmosphere or environment of the library - some users may not approve.

  • Would help local businesses during a difficult economic period.

  • Would create jobs rather than remove them.

  • Would use some of the presently wasted space on the Blackwood Library grounds.

Partial digitisation of volumes
Partial-Digitisation of Volumes

  • Some users have expressed discontent at using an electronic library system – citing health concerns, cost and difference from normal reading.

  • Outdated very soon. Technology is moving fast and systems may need expensive upgrades or replacements in the near future.

  • Would reduce the volume of physical paper books in the library

    • Allowing for implementation of the commercialisation concept system?

    • Perhaps some of the building could be sold to other council departments for alternative uses?

  • Would modernise the library, potentially attracting more users.

  • Would create new, modern IT jobs in the city.

  • Would allow future expansion – interconnects with other libraries?

Defining a solution
Defining a Solution

Involve local businesses in the running and funding of the library



“To Educate and Entertain”

Chief Librarian

Library Staff

& Businesses



Happy, Educated people

Unhappy / Uneducated →

Happy / Educated




~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Root Definition ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

A system owned and managed by the Chief Librarian to provide education and entertainment in an environment operated by library staff and business organisations by means of providing retail opportunities alongside free reading materials in order to educate and entertainmembers ofthe community.

Conceptual model of library system
Conceptual Model of Library system

  • A System owned by The Chief Librarian to make people happy by providing them with books and reading materials to improve their knowledge and imagination by library staff by means of making people happy and improving their knowledge given the constraints of availability of books, amount of money that gives government to the library, People can lost rented books or damage books in order to entertain and educate people.

C = People

A = Library staff

T = People > happiness, knowledge

W = Reading books makes people happy, they’re getting knowledge, improving their imagination (kids)

O = The chief librarian

E = Availability of books, amount of money that gives government to the library, People can lost rented books or damage books

Measures of performance for Library systemE1 (efficacy) – are books, CDs, videos and journals borrowed?E2 (efficiency) – how many books, CDs, videos and journals, whatcategory, are borrowed for the resource consumed?E3 (effectiveness) – do customers find the books, CDs, videos andjournals useful way of using their time and their expectations fromproducts they borrowed?

Conceptual model of the library system
Conceptual Model of theLibrary system

Set of activities implied by root definition:

Government gives money to a library

Library buy books, CDs, videos and journals

Library pays employees, utilities

Library makes events for people

Employees care about Library

People borrow books, CDs, videos and journals

People read books, CDs, videos and journals

People are happy, getting knowledge

Desirable and feasible changes

First system – Introduction of membership fees

Each member would pay a fixed fee

IT system would be used – classics would remain in text format.

Student will be able to access reference titles from home.

Members would be paying for features that they rarely use.

Second system – Tiered membership

Members will pay fees depending on level of use.

Extra income from highest paying members.

Doctors against IT use due to health concerns.

Desirable and Feasible changes

Desirable and feasible changes1
Desirable and Feasible changes

  • Third system – Business units

  • Top two floors will house retail units.

  • Units will be owned/let out to businesses

  • Members will be in favour – no membership fees

  • Doctors will be satisfied – more refreshment areas to relax.

  • Overall an increased social hub.

  • Most desirable and feasible system.

Financial plan
Financial plan

  • Year1: £550k - Funding by the government – To run library.

    £10k – Donation by Blackwood YFC – to spend on

    maintenance costs of building

    £19,325 – Funding by Matrics information system

    (53 members x £25 annual fee + 9000 enquiries per year x £2 per access)

  • Year 2: £10k – To spend on maintenance of the library


  • Year 3: £20k – To spend converting top two floors of the

    library into business units.

    £50k – To spend on new IT systems and library website.

Financial plan1
Financial plan

  • Year 4: £60,000 - Rental income from business units (£500

    per month x 10 units)

    £400,000 - Sales income from library owned business units

    (£40,000 x 10 units)

    £19,325 – Funding by Matrics information system

    (53 members x £25 annual fee + 9000 enquiries per year x £2 per access)

    £200k – Wages for library staff

    £10k – outsourcing of IT systems staff

  • Year 5: £80k – To spend on extension of library building to

    house additional business units

Reflections of ssm
Reflections of SSM

  • SSM helps to improve problem situations by understanding the context of the situation

  • Stakeholders positions are took into account and a rich picture is produced.

  • Not a fixed framework, so hard to measure achievement - is more time consuming.

  • Hard approaches tend to find logical solutions to problem situations – client interaction occurs at the end.

Suggestion for an extra stage to reflect on changes made. This gives structure and informs all stakeholders.