Library Director’s Report-June 2010
|2009-10 (DT closed 5 weeks)||797,256||131,503||203,303||636,155||1,768,237|
(does not include meeting rooms)
|2009-10 (DT closed 5 weeks)||453,906||113,564||90,267||355,568||1,013,305|
Community meetings (not library related) in June: Shores 57, Downtown 60
City Council informally accepted (formal adoption on July 12) all of the library’s recommended reductions—eliminating the technical services vacancy; reducing 1.5 public staff at the downtown library; eliminating staff support for local history; reducing Schaberg to 20 hours a week; and eliminating our youth services manager position. The City Council singled out Chuck Ashton several times during the budget hearings for deciding to retire earlier than he really wanted to in order to preserve several youth librarian positions.
At the beginning of June a scheduling task force was formed to develop a new staff schedule to help us transition to the one desk model of customer service at the downtown library. This will help us be more efficient with our reduced staffing resources. Priorities include staff to be scheduled in the building during open hours, including nights and Saturdays; built-in tolerance to cover vacations, meetings and illnesses for all four libraries to minimize on-call casual coverage; and the need to create a system that allows staff to be flexible in meeting changing customer demand. Increasing customer self-service and staff cross-training are two other initiatives that support this new staffing model.
The library is exploring public transportation options for the reduction of hours at Schaberg. We have also begun to talk with PRCS about program possibilities at Schaberg.
The Teen Library Recreation Leaders have really made our new Teen Center a huge success, not only in helping the kids with homework and activities, but also in recruiting and working with teen volunteers. Since March, 141 unique teenagers have volunteered over 900 hours helping plan and lead activities. This adheres to one of our Youth Development Principles of engaging our youth in teen service planning and delivery.
Our new website is up. It has the same structure of our other city departments, one of our strategic objectives, and it also is much easier to use and navigate. Library staff, with technical support from City IT, deserve a lot of kudos for making this happen, especially in addition to everyone’s regular workload.
We now have access to a grant funded online service called Career Transitions, a complete, guided, self-paced application that walks the individual through the entire process – assessing strengths and interests, exploring new opportunities, preparing a resume, finding educational opportunities and networking advice, performing a comprehensive job search and applying online. Users are guided by clear and concise information about career paths, industries, companies, job availability, growth potential and professional associations – organized around simple-to-navigate portals that combine overviews with statistical information and Web tools to help make well-planned career choices.
Youth Services happenings:
- Staff attended many meetings that focus on community building and youth development, including the Leadership Management Forum, the Youth Development Organizational Improvement Process and participating on the Community Youth Development Steering Committee.
- At the Leadership Management Forum, topics included immigrant youth, schools impacted by decreasing budgets, how to engage neighborhoods in community building activities, and creating more youth facilities in Redwood City.
- The Youth Development Organizational Improvement Process is being utilized to help the Library to improve youth services. Over the past year the youth department completed a pre and post survey of services offered, and youth perceptions of, by the library. After the first survey, changes were made to areas that needed improvement. The above teen volunteer example is a direct outcome of this process.
- Staff have participated on the Community Youth Development Steering Committee for the past year. This committee directs Community Youth Development (CYD) in Redwood City (an effort of Redwood City 2020). During the meeting members discussed successes from the past year and challenges they face in the upcoming year. We will continue with this committee and focus efforts in youth as partners, immigrant youth, and youth development professional (staff) development.
- The annual Summer Reading Club kicked off in June with over 2,000 children signed up and pledged to keep reading this summer. Most of the schools were visited by Youth services staff for assembly visits to promote the program and all the weekly summer programs planned for all four libraries in June and July. Beside the Reading Club the library also offers a Listening Club for children not yet reading, a Teen Club, a Parents Club, and for the first time this year, a Baby Club to encourage parents to read to their babies and to try some of the child development activities offered.
- Staff represented the library at Taft School’s Reading Banquet. This amazing annual event celebrates literacy by honoring the top readers in each classroom with a special award and a book, plus dinner for the whole family. It was wonderful to be able to address over 330 kids and parents who were already tuned into the idea that reading is a rewarding and fun activity. Many new and replacement library cards were given out, and much information about the library and the Summer Reading Club disseminated to an enthusiastic and receptive audience.
- A total of 21 classes poured into the Downtown and Fair Oaks libraries in anticipation of the end of the school year and the beginning of summer. Each class was given stories or booktalks and a tour. Library cards were replaced and records checked so that each of these 540 or so students was able to check out materials. Thanks to the hard-working circ and central desk staff downtown and the Fair Oaks crew, who had to process all these kids and wait patiently for them to figure out their phone numbers and parents’ names. Now they’re all buffed up and ready to read!
- Cristina is a regular visitor this summer at Fair Oaks school’s Kickoff to Kindergarten. This grant-funded program prepares the incoming class for their kindergarten year by teaching them how classrooms work and getting them started on the basics. And now they know all about the library and storytimes!
- The two storytimes at Redwood Shores continue to bring in around 200 children and adults on a weekly basis. Beginning next fall, storytimes will be held in the Community Room, which should provide enough space for the listeners and their strollers! We are also planning on expanding the number of these important literacy programs to meet demand.
And this from our wonderful Redwood City Project READ program:
- Lots of exciting things happening this month in Project READ’s FLIC. Bess the Book bus, a mobile literacy outreach organization donated hundreds of books again this year to Project READ. We are so thrilled about our continued relationship with this organization, and we look forward to her return trip to CA.
- We also want to honor and congratulate one of our learners and teen tutors, Kayte Toscano, who has recently been accepted to Eastside Preparatory School. We worked with Kayte last year on her application process, and we are so proud of her accomplishments. Kayte began the summer bridge program at her new school just last week, and has been diligently coming to FLIC each day to work on her homework. She has been in our program for years, and both she and her younger sister have been working regularly with our tutors.
- This month we also were able to see the rewards of another family working together. One of our newer community tutors has been raving about her young learner to her family after each meeting. She was so enthusiastic about her tutoring experiences that her children came in to see first-hand. Fortunately for us, they liked what they saw, and now both our tutor’s teen-aged children have gone through the FLIC teen tutor training. It’s exciting to see a family working together at FLIC—a true success story.
- Although summer is here, we are still busy with our youth, adults and families at the center. Learners come in to work on their reading, study skills and computer skills. Our tutors are excited to be able to work on some summer reading, and small group activities with our younger ones.
- We had another huge turnout at Story hour this month—over 100 families and friends in attendance! This month we jammed along with musical duo “Cotton Candy Express.” The families were thrilled to dance and sing along with the performers. Everyone also helped build their home libraries with our family book, “Jamberry,” and other book give-aways. Hands on Bay Area (HOBA) and Starbucks volunteers helped us lead three pre-literacy crafts, celebrating the accomplishments of our students’ year of school. It was an exciting time for everyone!
- And of course, volunteers and staff have been busily preparing for the annual volunteer appreciation BBQ in July.
Put August 14th on your calendar—Bookstock is back! And this time it is at Courthouse Square with PRCS as our partner. We will celebrate Chuck Ashton’s retirement! The famous Sippy Cups will be performing. A wonderful time is guaranteed for all.