Understanding and engaging the community are critical elements in creating the annual service plans. Smith says they see a marriage between CommunityConnect and their strategic framework and have presented the two together to staff to encourage thinking about segments and the strategic focus to deliver the right services in the right areas. “We are consciously targeting what we’re doing in the communities to bring value. Staff report they have learned much about their communities and that what they’ve learned translates into actionable activities. CommunityConnect is changing how we talk and think about services in our communities. To see staff apply what they’ve learned and evaluate how it’s working will be another level of success.”
Theresa Jehlik, Strategy and Business Intelligence Manager, says the more they study the data the more they learn. For example, she says, they have a large group of the Prosperous Empty Nesters segment served by four branches. Three of them are suburban locations with common characteristics and clustered close together. But the fourth is in a little corner of the county and in other ways not at all like the other three. By using CommunityConnect these four branches understand where they can work together effectively to eliminate redundancy of effort in program planning. Without CommunityConnect they would not have recognized this opportunity for collaboration to serve seniors.
DPL is still in the early stages of adopting CommunityConnect and beginning to work with the current data. Each branch and Central Library department, plus denverlibrary.org, and the bookmobile developed action plans with three to five specific actions. These action plans are specifically designed to serve segments, either in neighborhoods for branches, or citywide and to generally attract users and non-users. In order to implement the new strategic plan, Service Delivery—the Next Evolution, DPL has reorganized the management team. Next steps include developing CommunityConnect curriculum to train branch and Central supervisors and managers. Then staff will begin to use the CommunityConnect data, with the expectation that they will look at the data every month to assess progress and make necessary adjustments.
CommunityConnect also has provided LVCCLD the opportunity to present critical insights into community literacy conditions. Using CommunityConnect data, the library developed the first “high literacy challenge” map for the community. This has helped inform not only the library, but many community partners, including the Clark County School District (who used it to target their Striving Readers grant), United Way of Southern Nevada’s Healthy Community Initiative, researchers on education and mental health at the University of Nevada – Las Vegas, and community partners in the West Las Vegas Promise Neighborhood and Downtown Achieves projects.