My library sciences class is looking at programs and services this week, and we were asked to suggest three possible new programs and three possible new services that our library could consider offering. This is hard, because under normal circumstances Grissom already offers an amazing diversity of services and programs. However, I had a few ideas. People who know me can probably guess which of these I am likely to volunteer myself (or my son) for.
|Program/Service||How does this support our mission, “We connect, inspire, enrich, and empower.”||Would this be a good fit for our library?|
|Check out of Wifi Hot Spots (service) (This is not a service we have offered in the past. However, one of the other branches in our city has been running a pilot program of this service, and soon it will be expanded to other branches, including Grissom.)||Internet access is crucial for many activities, such as job hunting or schoolwork, but many poorer patrons in our city do not have internet at home, nor do they always have the ability to be at the library during our open hours (10 AM to 9 PM, M-Th, fewer hours F-S). Offering our patrons the ability to literally connect with social services, educational resources, and other web sites helps empower them to meet life’s challenges on their own time.||This pilot program has already been successful in a smaller branch library. The mail difficulty I see in implementing it on a larger scale (besides funding, which is always an issue) is that library personnel would need to be trained in how to use the mobile hot spots, and how to trouble shoot them for patrons (sometimes over the phone) when they aren’t working correctly.|
|Bookmobile (service)||The ability to “bring the library” to individuals who lack transportation would be another way to serve the community.||There are three branch libraries across town, so, in theory, access to library services via bookmobile might not be seen as crucial as it is in a rural area. However, many residents of our city have no transportation of their own, so a library that meets patrons where they are could be an asset.|
|Loan of sewing/craft equipment (service)||The various libraries throughout the city already have sewing and craft equipment that patrons can use in the buildings. Equipment that could be borrowed for a week or a weekend so patrons can work on longer projects is a logical extension of this service.||The idea of a “library of things” is one that’s being experimented with in other areas. The largest problem I would see with this would be the possibility of theft, loss, or damage of equipment. The library could limit costs by starting a pilot program with very basic donated equipment.|
|ESL classes (program)||Learning to speak English is an important step on the road to citizenship and economic advancement. Grissom library already has a circulating collection of ESL study materials, but they are not used often. Classes or tutoring sessions would draw attention to these resources.||Grissom library sits just a few blocks away from a local High school with a large cohort of ESL students. An after-school program to serve these students and/or their families would likely be an asset to the community.|
|Role-playing game club (program)||Tabletop RPG’s are not just entertaining; they provide young players with incentive to read, practice math, learn group problem solving skills, as well as an opportunity to socialize.||Most programming at Grissom is geared either toward young children or adults. An RPG club could be a program of interest to teens.|
|Sewing/quilting classes (program)||Creative opportunities to have hands-on instruction in the use of the equipment we have at the library would inspire patrons to get more use out of our amenities.||We already have a large selection of how-to books and videos available, so again this would be a logical extension of existing services.|