Strengths and Accomplishments

What has OPL accomplished in the last six months?

Here at the library, we are engaged in a strategic planning process and through that process, we have developed a new mission statement, a vision statement, core values, and three-year goals.  

You've probably seen "explore, connect, and grow" on some of our materials recently, including our last annual report and all of our summer program materials.  That's because our mission is, "Your Oakland Public Library empowers all people to explore, connect, and grow," and we take it quite seriously.

Hopefully our core values aren't a surprise to you, as we aspire to infuse them into everything we do.

And what about those three year goals?  Well, in no particular order, we are working to:

  • Reach more people where they are
  • Improve our physical spaces
  • Increase operational efficiencies
  • Increase funding
  • Develop, retain, and attract quality staff

As part of this process, members of staff and administration meet every six-months for an intense day of reflection, conversation, and planning.  

The most recent of these meetings took place just a couple of weeks ago, and was started off with an amazing brainstorm of the strengths and accomplishments of the Oakland Public Library since the previous planning meeting (February, 2017).  This was rapid-fire brainstorming, based on our perceptions and input from staff at every level and it is certainly not exhaustive.

We are so proud of this list, that we just have to share!

  • Finalization of the circulation policy—it has been well-received by staff
  • Managed the eclipse glasses distribution
  • Formed an Outreach Team
  • New library cards
  • No fines for youth 18 and under
  • We have fax and scanning services available for patrons and we’re expanding them
  • We’re getting materials out to patrons faster
  • Our delivery system has improved
  • We’ve done more services for the homeless
  • We got the Main lobby historic clock working again
  • Implemented the Teacher Card
  • Improved network connectivity at several locations
  • We got the bike repair stations installed
  • Completed several staff surveys and got feedback
  • Started to make progress on how we do ordering and selection
  • We were accepted into the Public Library Association Inclusive Internship Initiative
  • Materials turnover rate increased
  • Finalized the design of the Mobile Library
  • In spite of all the challenges, we purchased a lot of things
  • Implemented Oakland Promise Card pilot at Bridges Elementary
  • Got $15 million in CIP funding
  • Had a collaborative effort to rename and rebrand the staff newsletter—now called The Check Out
  • New storage at Main for Special Collections
  • Promoted some staff members
  • Hired many staff members
  • Added DVDs and other media to Link Plus borrowing
  • Two staff were named Library Journal “Movers and Shakers”
  • Completed another budget cycle with no staff cuts
  • Successfully completed performance appraisals for all but two permanent staff
  • Friends of Oakland Public Library closed our purchasing gaps and allowed us to still operate
  • New online form for service requests
  • Purchased Collection HQ to make informed collection decisions
  • Continued improvements in our collection selection and localized budget
  • Have collection development guidelines for Share the Love
  • Anecdotally, the daily service our staff is delivering is having a greater impact on the community and is appreciated by the public
  • Chavez Branch was accepted into the Parent Innovation Institute
  • Children’s Services is practicing more design thinking in our program development
  • Trained some staff on how to upload to the webpage
  • Staff work above and beyond to serve a very stressed community
  • Oakland Has Jobs Instagram account is growing
  • Part-time employees are seeking permanent employment at OPL—feel supported on their career track
  • We have a new Community Info Kiosk at Main
  • Added three self-check machines to the system
  • A lot of staff training (e.g., digital safety, fake news, writing for the web)
  • Rolled out the FOPL Innovation Grants
  • Implemented RFID at one location
  • Created another Teen Zone at Dimond
  • Set up new process for staff to request design and printing
  • We added a laptop checkout kiosk at Dimond
  • Renewed the lease for the Piedmont Avenue Library
  • We attended more outreach events
  • We expanded the Library School Scholarship
  • We hired and trained 25 Library Aides
  • A large number of our staff are more familiar with the OPL’s strategic plan goals and objectives
  • We had another Employee/Staff Appreciation Day
  • We revised the employee timesheet
  • We have ads on AC Transit buses
  • Added Summer Reading software for adults and used the software more successfully with children and teens
  • Added a Summer Reading Program for caregivers and children under 5 years
  • 11 of our libraries participated in National Night Out
  • Deployed MYPC (computer software for patrons to use)
  • Staff managed the Dimond overflow with no decrease in system-wide children’s programming attendance
  • We did fire drills in almost every location
  • We opened the remodeled Dimond Branch Library
  • Formed two new teams—Racial Equity Team and Critical Response Team
  • New Bike Library
  • Play Café is being picked up by the State Library for replication throughout the state
  • 26 staff completed their Touchpoints training and presented to all staff
  • Acquired 3D printers and virtual reality equipment
  • Youth Leadership Council has the highest membership it has ever had
  • We had two well-attended Job Fairs
  • There is better internal sharing of stores about what the staff are doing (e.g., photos)
  • We get positive feedback about OPL’s brand

What did we miss?