Identity, Information and Impact: Winnipeg Public Library’s 2012 Information and Reference Services Study Final Report available at: http://wpl.winnipeg.ca/library/pdfs/WPLIRSStudy2012.pdf Presented by: Peggy Walshe (Libraries in Transition) Theresa Lomas (Winnipeg Public Library)
Why a Study? Why a Consultant? Presented by: Theresa Lomas (Winnipeg Public Library)
Why WPL needed to look at Information and Reference Services • Declining Information and Reference Services stats • Do we respond in the most efficient and customer responsive manner to customers’ information needs? • Concern about relevancy- are WPL’s Information services proactive, constantly evolving, meaningful?
And...... Concern that we were employing a fairly traditional model for Information and Reference services
Why a Consultant? • Who would have the time to do the work necessary for a study of large scope? • Have someone with fresh eyes examine current practices and make recommendations • Neutral person- staff and public may be more honest with a neutral, outside party • Success of previous studies- we’ve hired consultants for other studies (Materials’ Selection Process Study, Needs Assessment and Report on Library Services with Aboriginal Populations Living in Winnipeg) and the results have been extremely valuable.
RFP for Consultant • RFP for consultant sent out February, 2012 and awarded March, 2012. • Peggy Walshe (Libraries in Transition) won bid. Her team also included Stan Squires and Associates and Monteith Brown Planning Consultants.
Timeline of Project • Work began in April, 2012 • Interim report with Executive summary due May 18, 2012 • Final report due August, 2012. • Presentation of final report to WPL staff and WPL Library Board September, 2012
Library Staff Involvement • WPL Library Board- Board member on Steering committee, participated in focus group, survey • Steering Committee (1 Library Board member and Management committee members) • All other levels of staff as needed for input, information, branch visits, participation in meetings, focus groups, surveys
The Study Presented by: Peggy Walshe (Libraries in Transition)
Our Approach Not just from a Library-specific perspective. We also examined: • How people get their information • Why they need information • What are their sources/ our competition • What are the factors that impact how people use their libraries
Methodologies • Research in library trends • Community profile of Winnipeg • WPL’s performance indicators and services • Stakeholders- Library Board and WPL staff through focus groups, survey, meetings, and public through surveys and town halls. • Recommendations
Research and Trends CRITICAL THEMES: • Customer Service is still #1! • Technology • Marketing • Staff and Public Training
Highlights from Research: Chicago Study Chicago Metropolitan Library System. Best Practices for theCustomer-Focused Library. New York: Envirosell Inc, 2008. • People spend less time in the Library • 2/3 of visitors didn’t know what they wanted prior to arriving at Library • Directional help eg stacks, most important • Effective signage is critical especially for older population • Older adults are less interested in the computer area, self check out or Library’s website • Multimedia collections and computer area in the Library are the most frequented areas of the Library for the younger population
The Chicago Study concluded: • People are busy and want convenience. Anything they want should be accessible at first point of contact. • Although people are more self-directed, many just want the information, not a training session • Library needs to lose the jargon • Library is still an attractive destination- needs to be made simpler, accessible and open
Highlights from our Community Survey Received 438 responses with a completion rate of 83%! Winnipeggers want more of EVERYTHING! Winnipeggers LOVE their Library!
Top 5 Services used at WPL Borrowing print material Accessing the Library’s website Access the Library’s catalogue Borrowing DVDs/ other multimedia resources Accessing the Internet or using computers
In the area of Information Services specifically • 55% of respondents had used Information Services in the past year • 31% had used Interlibrary Loan Services in the past year • 21% had used Readers’ Advisory in the past year
Cited reason for non-use of the Library? Alternate sources of information!!!
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT?? USERS SAY……. • More marketing, using both traditional marketing vehicles as well as social media • More print books and more ebooks • Better hours • Improved website • More programs, events or workshops
Consultants’ recommendations • Blended Customer First service available at all service points • More open, welcoming decluttered spaces • More aggressive weeding • Step up migration to e-products • More etools and apps to assist staff and users alike • Increase staff training--technologies and e-resources • Enhance marketing! • Streamline the capture, kinds and analysis of performance indicators across the system
How WPL is Using the Study/ Final Report Or, The Busiest Year Ever! Presented by: Theresa Lomas (Winnipeg Public Library)
First thoughts: We were on the right track- needed to make changes to the delivery of Information and Reference services. Follow-through needed. We wanted to ensure that results of study were utilized, not just shelved. Report gave us tangible action items to work with.
Organizing themes from the study The action items were organized into the following broad themes: • Information Services • Customer Service • Technology • Collections • Facilities • Human Resources • Marketing
Steering Committee • Steering committee met regularly late in 2012 to assign areas of responsibility and timeline to EACH action item from the study. • Though this took several months to complete, it was well worth the time as it meant that all items were tracked and updates noted. • Steering committee still meets regularly to discuss updates and keep work on track.
Action Plan • Important for staff to know that work has continued out of the study. • In March, 2013 an action plan was sent out to all staff, organized thematically, that outlined action items, area(s) of responsibility and timelines.
Change Initiative Coordinator In March, 2013 an announcement was also sent out regarding the secondment of a staff member for 6 months to be a Change Initiative Coordinator, who was tasked with implementing several initiatives from the action plan.
Information Services • Examine current delivery of e-reference service and investigate the feasiblity of partnering with academic libraries to deliver Virtual reference. (In process) • Standardize performance measures in how we collect information about queries. Have consistent definitions, explore electronic options, explore whether day-to-day measures required. (In process- will be trialing Gimlet) • Undertake a cost-benefit analysis of the ILL service and determine whether service should be maintained. (In process) • Implement reference interview training, refresher and ongoing. (In process)
INFORMATION SERVICESRoving reference Implement a roving reference model in all branches. (Pilots in June, September)
Customer Service • Offer courses in customer service training as relevant and available. (ongoing) • Implement a branded ‘Ask Me’ model which blends Adult and Youth Services Information and Reader’s Advisory throughout the system, with clearly branded signage and nametags. (In process) • Develop a system for cross-training staff in information service units for staff to get experience working in other areas. (more research required)
Customer Service • Gather feedback from front-line staff regarding changes that would lead to a more customer focused experience for our patrons. (Completed)
Customer Service • Post user satisfaction surveys that evaluate ‘Ask Me’ service and customer service. Purchase Counting Opinions LIB-SAT product and share results with public. (Launching LIB-SAT July 1).
Technology • Implement the Library Cafe on the Courtyard for ALL staff. (Completed.) Comment from a staff member on the Library Cafe: On a side note, and I don't think I'm the only one to express this, I think it is great that tips for fellow co-workers and issues and concerns can be raised and addressed here in The Courtyard. Thank you virtual services! I also think that it is great that even though we all may have different opinions it is only because everyone wants to provide the best customer service we can.
Technology • Create a library team of forward-looking, dynamic staff to deliver training across the system. (Completed) • Provide refresher courses in basic computer skills, database training and library catalogue as required. (In process) • Ensure that training is delivered via various methods, including Courtyard, Libnet, webcasts, mentoring, quarterly workshops, external training. (ongoing) • Partnerships between Virtual services staff and staff from across the library, working on committees, working groups, advising, developing new services and programs.(ongoing)
Technology • Develop tech kits for use by staff that include a variety of e-readers and mobile devices, with documentation. (Completed)
Technology • Explore the feasibililty of providing distinct downloading stations for e-books at each location. (Researching) • Revise CSP (Computer Support personnel) training program for staff in technology equipment troubleshooting. (In process) • Ensure more space is allotted for Information Technology, connectivity and space for laptops as facilities are replaced and renovated. (ongoing)
Collections • Create teams to weed circulating items across system, with a focus on non-fiction. Create open, more welcoming spaces for patrons. (ongoing) • Migrate to networked e-res0urces more quickly to minimize/ eliminate the purchase of print versions. (ongoing) • Examine the following collections, weed and recommend optimal size: Reference, Stack Reference, Indexes, Canadiana, Reference Periodicals, Vertical files (In process)
Facilities • Examine current hours of opening and explore alternate hours of operation. (ongoing) • Evaluate service desks at all locations and come up with a plan to ensure that desks meet the needs of a changing service delivery environment, declutter desks. (In process) • Remove shelf barriers from behind certain desks at MILL as these barriers impede sightlines and customer service. (In process) • Implement the ‘one desk’ model as a pilot at the Fort Garry library for more wide spread implementation across system. (Fort Garry renovation started May 13 and finished Sept 2013, includes ‘one desk’ plan)
Human Resources • Revise job descriptions throughout library system with priority given to customer service competencies. (Completed) • Realign staff to secure a permanent position in Virtual Services. (Completed) • Update Information and reference skills tests, blending Children’s, Young Adult and Adult. (In process)
Human Resources • Identify technology skill sets necessary for library positions, aligning these with job descriptions. (In process)
Marketing • Market the expertise and knowledge of staff in the area of Information services (ongoing) • Continue to develop special, up-to-date handouts and web pages on the use of the Library’s catalogue, computers and equipment. (ongoing) • Create new location map at front of Millennium with corresponding print material as well as updated handouts for all locations which shows key collections and services. (in process)
Marketing • Standardize signage throughout the system which is branded and professional. (In process)
Staff Implications • Some staff have a difficult time with change- and we need to communicate with staff and provide a forum for them to communicate on the Courtyard. • Reassure staff that there were no ulterior motives for study (ie. staff reductions). We just want to be more efficient and relevant! • Need to move ahead with changes, especially with op-ed pieces and commentary in media that libraries aren’t needed anymore. If we don’t change, then we are going to become obsolete.