areas of the City, the libraries play different roles in response. Verygenerally, in more affluent areas (Winton, Charlotte and Monroe)circulation is higher, while program attendance, Internet use and door count is lower; the converse is true in areas with higher or increasing poverty rates (Lyell, Wheatley, Lincoln, Sully, Arnett,Maplewood and Highland). Six libraries serve more youth (Arnett,Lincoln, Lyell, Maplewood, Sully and Wheatley), some moreLatinos (Lincoln and Lyell) and at least three have an increasingimmigrant/refugee population (Maplewood, Wheatley, Highland).As a result, there are systemic questions that must be studied and resolved—number and type of service outlets/branches, locationand hours of services, investments in collections vs. peopleresources, potential partnerships, standardization of some policies,evolving staff roles—but these decisions will need to be driven bythe unique reality of each branch.For example, it is possible that libraries with high circulation and low Internet usage should invest in new fiction, becomeincreasingly self-service, and not expend staff time in designingand promoting programs that are not well attended. Other librariesmay decide to invest more in programming for youth, staffing to provide computer assistance, or serving a specific immigrant population. Leadership and the City will also have to decide when,if and how data will be used to make decisions about branchlocations in the future.4.
In this context, staff matters a great deal.
For libraries to beresponsive to community needs and changes in the way societyaccesses information, new staff capacities are required.Stakeholder interviews and data confirmed that increasingly librarystaff must be community-minded, able to manage projects instrategic ways, savvy at volunteer mobilization, and skillful in planning and implementing outreach/communication/publicrelations. In many libraries, youth development is seen as another core competency, and the lack of diversity of the library workforceis problematic. In particular, there is a lack of Spanish speakingstaff. Stability of staffing is also a concern.5.
Stakeholders in Rochester hold RPL in high regard, andstrongly believe that libraries are a critical aspect of preservingand building strong communities.
They see the tensions inherentin libraries serving such a wide array of residents’ needs and desires. The survey and interview respondents shared specificopportunities for improvement and ideas for the future (which have been separately conveyed to management) and a few expressed concerns that libraries stick to their core mission and not become