Recent assignment for Public Library Services course.
For this discussion, you will be asked to do the following:
a) Find a public library’s website; find the mission statement and post it.
I chose the Monroe County (NY) Public Library.
MCLS Mission Statement
The Monroe County Library System is a coalition of member libraries that provides materials and programs to meet the informational, educational and recreational needs of individuals, member libraries and local governments through 1) collaborative ventures in cost effective delivery of quality services; 2) centralized delivery of selected services; and 3) the fostering of fast, accurate access to materials and services in a seamless, consistent and uniform manner.
b) Find a program offered at that library and give a brief description.
Age Level: Child — 3 yrs. – 8 yrs.
This class incorporates simple yoga postures and breathing techniques partnered with a combination of fun uplifting music and calming music to help the children to move, play, and relax. The benefits of yoga for children are to improve strength, balance, and flexibility, and to introduce the children to ways to calm the mind and focus. It balances movement with rest so children can learn the value of activity and stillness. Ages 3-8 with an adult. Registration required.
c) Explain how this program supports (or does not support) that mission statement and whether or not the mission would “protect” that program.
The mission statement may not protect the program, if someone wanted to make an issue of it. Providing programs is part of the library’s mission. This is a program. The library is providing it. The program’s description offers benefits to children that align with the library’s mission of meeting educational and recreational needs of the patrons it serves. In this regard, the program supports the library’s mission.
What I found interesting, though, is that the library’s target population is “individuals, member libraries, and local governments.” That’s a very concrete, specific focus. Not the community, not the public, not families, not non-profit service organizations, not various other social groups. The title of the program, “Family Yoga with Samana Lake” implies that the program’s target group, families, falls outside of the library’s service population, as per the mission statement. (This is my hometown library system, and unfortunately, the lack of value for community is endemic to the area. I’m not surprised to see it written into policy.)
Additionally, I don’t see where the “collaborative venture,” “cost effectiveness,” or centralization comes into play in the delivery of this “quality service.” Neither does it seem “fast and accurate access” applies to this program. So while the “what does the organization do” portion of the mission statement would be supported by this program, the “who for” and the “how” don’t really align very well, allowing critics to suggest the library is not fulfilling its mission by offering this program. (And if the locals know how to do anything, it’s criticize. Take me for example. 🙂 Born and raised.)
d) Post the website’s URL
(This is not a very accessible or user-friendly URL.)