Friday, April 29, 2016

Going forward!

The info desk at Desert Broom. One desk for the entire building, manned by two staff or more.

So I never heard a word from the Branch Manager at Desert Broom. I'm not going to waste time on why, but I am disappointed. One of the aspects of studying other systems is looking at what services/products they provide (or don't) and asking why. Every library in the country faces tight budget restraints, so the decision process on how the money gets spent is especially critical in the every-evolving landscape of library service that demands being on-trend at the minimum, trend-setting as preferred.

Desert Broom is a small branch in the Phoenix Public Library's (PPL) sixteen branch system. Like most smaller branches in a larger system, it doesn't have all the bells and whistles that are offered in the higher populated urban areas (like the job center) but its facility is sleek, functional and inviting.

PPL uses Polaris 5.0.616 for its ILS Management System and OPAC. This is the same system my employer uses and it appears both have the same features activated. There are no patron based interactive features for book reviews, staff blogs or comments inside the OPAC. Full Displays on items will offer read-alikes, industry reviews, GoodReads and NoveList links and awards written. Very useful, no doubt, but not interactive. I suspect cost is the culprit- to add the feature and then use staff time to moderate the comments. 

PPL does offer an eCard on its website that provides patrons immediate access to all digital resources. My system doesn't do that. I think this is a great feature because there will always be people who cannot get to the library building. In fact, I see expansion of the digital "campus" as an important trend going forward. (Take a peek at what the Denver Public Library has created for teens online.)

Where Desert Broom excels is in its award-winning design. You want to spend time here.

The back patio off the Early Literacy Area.

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