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Posts Tagged ‘strategic planning’


New Self Checkouts @ Your Library

by Kara Logsden on November 18th, 2014

2014 11 New Self CheckoutThis week we rolled out new Self Checkout machines. The six new Self Checkout stations may be found on the First Floor near the entrance and in the Children’s Room and on the Second Floor near the Reference Desk.

This project is a culmination of months of behind the scenes work by Library staff and completes a Strategic Plan goal to “Upgrade checkout equipment to provide more efficient service.”

Highlights of the new equipment include a bigger, more responsive screen and new DVD Unlockers that give a GREEN LIGHT indication when the DVD has been unlocked. They also feature new credit card payment terminals that are easy to use and assure PCI Compliance for transactions.

A new feature is a “smart” barcode reader that reads barcodes on smart phone screens. We’ve received many requests for this feature and know our patrons will appreciate this enhancement. The scanner works with pictures of Library Cards on the smart phones or through barcodes generated by third-party apps such as CardStar.

Another option in response to patron requests is the ability to choose no receipt, a printed receipt, or an eMail receipt. We can only send an eMail receipt if we have a valid eMail address in the patron’s record. If you wish to add an eMail address to your account, please give us a call or stop by the Help Desk.

As with many technology upgrades we are still working through a couple issues. The Self Checkout software is not communicating with our system to give information about holds in the queue. Patrons will be notified when a hold is ready for pickup but at this time we are unable to show holds at the Self Checkout stations. If you need help with holds, please go to a public service desk.

Nearly 70% of our checkouts run through the Library’s Self Checkout stations so it is a critical tool for us to serve our community. We are delighted with the new product and the improvements the technology brings. While we offer the option of Self Checkout, please remember staff are just a couple steps away if you need help or prefer for staff to check out materials for you.

Iowa City Public Library Deemed “Essential” in Mail Survey

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on May 30th, 2014

Patrons consider the Iowa City Public Library “essential” and “very important,” according to a recent survey.

The Library conducted a mail survey through Himmel & Wilson, Library Consultants in March to gather input for its new strategic plan. The surveys were distributed to 2,000 random households in Iowa City and the Library contract areas – University Heights, Hills, Lone Tree, and rural Johnson County.

A total of 434 completed surveys were returned for a 23.61 percent response rate, resulting in a 95 percent confidence rate and a margin of error of plus or minus 4.68 percent.office-icons-mail-free-stock-vector

Nearly 95 percent of mail survey respondents said that the Iowa City Public Library was either essential or very important to the quality of life in the community. This is the highest response Himmel & Wilson has ever received for a public library.

“The Iowa City Public Library is clearly a well-used and well-respected community resource,” Bill Wilson and Ethel Himmel stated in their report. “More than half (55 percent) of survey respondents gave ICPL a rating of 6 (excellent) when asked to rate their overall satisfaction with services. Another 31.5 percent indicated that they thought services were very good. “

Almost ninety percent of respondents stated that they visited the Library at least five times a year, with 30.8 percent marking three times a month or more. During these visits, 79 percent of respondents checked out library materials, nearly 32 percent asked Library staff for help with a question, 13.5 percent attended children playing in the Children’s Room, and 9.5 percent attended a meeting.

“Iowa City is a great library town. One of my favorite things that I learned from the survey is that the average number of books read by people in our community, 24, is twice the national average of 12 — we really are a City of Literature, “ Library Director Susan Craig says. “I appreciate all the participation we had. It really helps the committee working on updating the strategic plan when they have good input.”

We Want YOU!

by Susan Craig on March 24th, 2014

The Library has worked under a strategic plan for more than thirty years, adopting a new one every four or five years. It is often noted by new Library Board members, with varying degrees of astonishment, that we actually follow our plan! The first step of a new planning process, which we have just begun, is an environmental scan.

We can learn a lot about our environment by looking at facts and figures about our community and how it has changed since our last planning process. Is our community increasing or decreasing in population? If growing, where are the growth areas? What changes in other demographics are measurable– income, race, education level?

The most important part of our environment is what residents in our service area think about our current services, how they use the library, and what needs we aren’t meeting.

That is where you can help us.

Two thousand households in our service area (Iowa City, rural Johnson County, University Heights, Hills and Lone Tree) received printed surveys. If you received one, please complete and return it by April 1.

A large sample of people who have used their library cards recently and for whom we have email address will get an email this week asking them to complete an online survey. This survey is available to anyone and can be found at: http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/1568479/Iowa-City-IA-Web-Survey

Personally, I find it more than a little annoying, to be asked to evaluate everything I buy or experiences I have. I choose to do it for a selected few organizations and companies that I expect to have an ongoing relationship with and who I believe will do something constructive with my feedback.  I hope you feel that way about the Library and will take the time to complete a survey. We won’t ask often and we will consider all of your responses. Thank you.

Surveys Mailed for ICPL Strategic Planning Process

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on March 10th, 2014

The Iowa City Public Library is working on a new strategic plan and needs input from the public about how the Library will serve the community in the future.

“We go through the strategic planning process every five years to determine what our community wants and needs from the Library,” Library Director Susan Craig says.mail_(1)

One way the public can help is returning a mailed survey, if you receive one.

Himmel & Wilson, Library Consultants have mailed out 2,000 surveys to residents of Iowa City and the Library contract areas – University Heights, Hills, Lone Tree, and rural Johnson County. The surveys should arrive in the mail this week, along with a letter explaining the Library strategic planning process. If you receive one, the Library asks that you take five minutes to fill it out and mail it back in the pre-addressed, stamped return envelope.

“The Library is planning for the future, and your ideas and opinions are important to us,” Craig says. “This is true of both active and inactive Library users.”

For more information, contact the Library at (319) 356-5200 or visit http://www.icpl.org/help/.

Help Shape Our Future: ICPL Begins Strategic Planning Process

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on March 7th, 2014

The Iowa City Public Library is working on a new strategic plan and needs input from the public about how the Library will serve the community in the future.survey-software

“Strategic planning is something we do every five years to determine the needs of our community and what the Library can do to meet them,” Library Director Susan Craig says.

The Better Building, Better Service initiative grew out of the last strategic plan, resulting in physical improvements to the Library, including the addition of the Koza Family Teen Center on the Library’s second floor. The Library also made several improvements to customer services, including the addition of Switchboard services and increasing the number of holds a patron can request.

“The strategic plan is all about looking ahead. What does our community need? What does our community want?” Craig says.

There are several ways you can help the Library answer those questions:

  • Complete the online survey
  • Attend a public presentation on the future of public libraries at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 27, in Meeting Room A. A feedback session will follow.
  • Return the mailed survey, if you receive one. (Surveys have been mailed to 2,000 households.)
  • Participate in a focus group. Eight focus groups are scheduled for March, six geared toward a specific audience (parents of young children, teens, senior citizens) and two open to the general public. Registration is required, To view the schedule and register to attend a focus group, visit http://www.icpl.org/help/

For more information, contact the Library at (319) 356-5200.

Input Needed for ICPL Strategic Planning Process

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on March 3rd, 2014

The Iowa City Public Library is working on a new strategic plan and needs input from the public about how the Library will serve the community in the future.

“This is your Library; tell us what direction we should take in the next five years,” Library Director Susan Craig says.

One way the community can provide feedback is participating in a focus group. Eight focus groups for Library users of varying ages and backgrounds will be held in March.

General/Anyone
1:30 to 3 p.m. Friday, March 7, in the Library Board Room.
7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 26, in the Library Board Room.meeting-clipart

Teens
4 to 5:30 p.m. Friday, March 7, in the Library Board Room.

Ethnic and Racial Minorities
10:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 8, in the Library Board Room.

Parents of Young Children
2 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, March 8, in the Library Board Room.

Home School Community
1 to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 25, in the Library Board Room.

Businesses/Downtown District
4 to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 25, in the Library Board Room.

People Age 55 and Older
10 to 11:30 a.m. Wednesday. March 26, in the Education Center at the East Side Recycling Center, 2401 Scott Blvd.

The Library Board Room is located on the second floor of the Library.

The focus groups will be conducted by Library planning consultant. The groups are open to anyone residing in the Library’s district service area – Iowa City, rural Johnson County, University Heights, Hills, and Lone Tree – but registration is required.

To register, visit http://www.icpl.org/help/ or call (319) 356-5200.

Teens’ Help Needed for ICPL Strategic Planning Process

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on February 21st, 2014

The Iowa City Public Library is working on a new strategic plan and needs feedback from the teens about how the Library will serve the community in the future.  meeting-clipart

A focus group for teenage Library users will be held from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on Friday, March 7, in the Library’s Board Room. Pizza will be provided for those who attend.

Registration is required. To register, call Teen Services Librarian Brian Visser at (319) 887-6076, e-mail him at brian-visser@icpl.org, or register online at: http://calendar.icpl.org/view.php?did=29224.




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