In July I celebrated my 1-year anniversary here at Keene Memorial Library. Recognizing milestones like this also creates the opportunity to reflect back on the many positive changes we have incorporated here in the library.

We started this “Positive Promotion” with our staff last week by placing a large poster on the staff lounge door so staff can add all the positives that have happened over the last year. This allows us to reflect back on our hard work and realize the results of that hard work. In starting this with the staff, it made me realize sharing our hard work and positive changes with the community is just as important.

So I decided to create a Top 10 list of Positive Changes:

1. Completed an inventory of the library collection for the first time in decades (touched over 80,000 items in 7 months)

2. Cleaned up old charges and lost items by waiving old fines and fees

3. Painted the Children’s/Young Adult area to help identify the section

4. Purchased new printers that allowed us to reduce our number from 17 printers to 7 printers

5. Expanded programming for adults and teens and collaboration with outside entities

6. Incorporated a Lego table and board games into the children’s area

7. Cleaned out and relabeled the entire children’s storage closet

8. Adding new DVD shelving to allow for expansion of DVDs

9. Added foam floor squares to children’s programming in auditorium for a more sanitary space

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10. Submitted a plan for an expansion project that was approved by City Council – slowly moving forward with fundraising and planning

There have been many more changes and improvements, but these are the bigger changes that took many, many, many hours of staff time and energy. Trying to bring change to a library is not something that can be done overnight. We started out by evaluating the library for several months – reviewing usage statistics, monitoring physical use of space, and holding staff discussions to contemplate the changes.

Once we decided what areas needed to be improved, we met as a group to discuss the best options for change, we developed a plan, and made a schedule for implementation. We rolled out the changes slowly to ensure the staff were comfortable with the new directions and spent many hours making signage/posters to try to alleviate patron anxiety over the changes.

Our goal was to make the changes as painless as possible for staff and patrons. In the end, all the changes help to improve programming, collection management, services, and overall functioning of the library.

As we move into 2018, we continue to evaluate the library as a whole and plan to make improvements to improve patron satisfaction and ease of use with our electronic and print collections. If you ever have comments or just want to ask questions about the changes, feel free to talk to any of the staff or send me an email at tina.walker@fremontne.gov .

Tina Walker is Director of Keene Memorial Library in Fremont.

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