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Service Priorities

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Our Mission

RCPL cultivates community by welcoming all people to experience the shared joys of literacy and learning.

Service Priorities 2019-2021

In the second half of 2016, the Library held a series of sixteen community dialogues that included over 200 individuals representing a diverse cross-section of the people of Redwood City and North Fair Oaks. Five common themes emerged from these conversations in the form of community aspirations toward which the Library could contribute in a positive way. Our areas of focus and new service initiatives for the next two years were developed in service of these aspirations.

Aspiration 1: INCLUSION
Our community is welcoming and inclusive, celebrates the diversity of our population, and enjoys a friendly, neighborly community spirit.

  • Partner with community organizations to provide support to vulnerable members of the community through Social Service Office Hours and other programming
  • Pilot “Library Takeover” program, in which community groups can receive grants from the Friends of the Library to partner with Library staff on the development of programs and services for underserved populations
  • Launch new programs and activities for seniors, veterans, LGBTQ+ residents, people of color, people with disabilities, and opportunity youth (those aged 16-24 who are not currently in school or employed), and work directly with these populations in the development of new programs and library collections that meet their needs
  • Working in partnership with existing multicultural community groups, provide programs and activities for all ages to authentically reflect cultural perspectives in celebrating our diverse cultures and holidays, including, but not limited to, Black History Month, Lunar New Year, Nowruz, Asian Pacific Heritage Month, Jewish American Heritage Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, Día de los Muertos, Native American Heritage Month, Diwali, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Christmas
  • Working in partnership with existing community groups, provide programs and activities for all ages to authentically reflect the perspectives of community members in celebrating Women’s History Month, Mental Health Awareness Month, LGBTQ+ Pride Month, Disability Awareness Month, National Veterans and Military Families Month, and other events honoring segments of our community
  • Continue to support and expand collections in languages reflecting the populations of Redwood City and North Fair Oaks: Chinese, English, Farsi, Hindi, Japanese, Persian, Russian, Spanish, and Tagalog for adults and children, in addition to children’s collections in French, German, and Italian. Analyze communities surrounding branch libraries to identify needs to add or enhance international language collections
  • Continue to offer Human Library programs, and explore the possibility of a Human Library program for pre-teens and teens. Invite “human books” to deliver Library storytimes
  • Create and deliver programming in conjunction with Welcoming America’s Welcoming Week in September
  • Update adaptive technology on Library computers and in Library facilities to assist people of all ages with disabilities, and provide staff training to support the use of adaptive technology
  • Continue to offer ESL conversation groups for speakers of multiple languages, and explore options to offer structured English language classes
  • Deliver another series of “Meet Your Neighbors” programs for new residents, and work with Neighborhood Associations to explore pop-up programs in neighborhoods without libraries
  • Pilot program series for seniors at the Redwood Shores Branch Library
  • In partnership with the Local History Room, develop a local history speaker series to highlight the rich and diverse history of the community
  • Participate in the Human Rights Campaign’s 5th Annual Jazz & Friends National Day of School and Community Readings for transgender awareness in 2020 
  • Explore the possibility of regular book reading program for seniors modeled on the Traveling Storytime program
  • Continue to identify and promote meaningful opportunities for volunteer engagement

Aspiration 2: EQUITY
Redwood City and North Fair Oaks provide opportunities for community members of all income levels.

  • Complete equity audit of Library policies and procedures, and develop a plan to change practices with a disproportionately negative impact on low income residents and people of color
  • Continue loaning wireless hot spots and iPads for home use
  • Create a new makerspace/technology lab/coworking space to meet the expressed needs of community members of all ages at the Downtown Library
  • Partner with Pacific Library Partnership and local school districts to ensure that Student Success library cards are issued to every student
  • Continue to offer accredited high school diplomas to adults through the Career Online High School program
  • Identify opportunities to expand needed programs (such as Lawyers in the Library, Workforce development, and Financial Literacy) and to launch new programs to meet emerging needs (such as Parenting, Know Your Rights, Mental health)
  • Evaluate Library technology services and programs to see whether they might also be successful at multiple library locations
  • Identify and implement appropriate programming to utilize the 3-D printer at the Fair Oaks Branch Library
  • Pursue a grant opportunity to pilot robot delivery of library materials, with a focus on seniors, persons with disabilities, or those with mobility issues making it difficult to visit a physical library

Aspiration 3: AWARENESS
Residents have more awareness of existing programs and services.

  • Partner with the Census Bureau and other government entities to provide information and resources to encourage community engagement and participation
  • Continue to increase the Library’s engagement with community events and activities, particularly those focused on target service populations
  • Promote library services through communication channels organized by people of color, and increase Spanish-language marketing of Library services and events
  • Publicize resources for learning about Library events and services, such as eNews, social media, Library app, text message reminders
  • Identify 2-3 significant programs or services each month for active promotion by Library staff at service desks
  • Promote, and expand as appropriate, online services and collections such as eBooks, eAudio books, eMagazines and newspapers, streaming music and video services, and online tutoring
  • Analyze communications preferences for target audiences using data analytics
  • Explore partnership opportunities with local television, radio, and print media
  • Invite community partners to present at Library staff meetings and Library Board meetings to deepen understanding
  • Continue to foster collaboration with and among the Library’s support groups, including the Library Foundation, Friends of the Library, Friends of Literacy, Archives Committee, and the Library Board

Aspiration 4: SAFETY
Redwood City and North Fair Oaks are safe places for children and families.

  • Partner with Parks, Recreation, and Community Services on the conceptual plan for updating Roselli Garden as part of the Downtown Parks initiative
  • Conduct a thorough review of safety and security policies and practices at each library location, and implement any needed training or improvements
  • Explore options to provide programming similar to social service office hours, specifically for teens at the Downtown Library
  • Offer events for adults and/or teens on topics such as housing, transportation safety (traffic and pedestrian), mental health, suicide prevention, human trafficking, and online safety
  • Partner with About-Face to deliver empowerment workshops for teen girls
  • Continue to partner with law enforcement agencies to provide storytimes by officers and other positive opportunities for youth to interact with officers at libraries

Aspiration 5: EDUCATION
All Redwood City and North Fair Oaks children have access to quality educational opportunities.

  • Collaborate with Parks, Recreation, and Community Services on the Pirate Ship art installation/imaginative play area at the Redwood Shores Branch Library
  • Increase participants in the annual Summer Learning Challenge from 15,000 to 16,000 in 2019, and strive for a 50% completion rate for registered participants
  • Increase the regular programs and activities for children at the three neighborhood branch libraries by hiring a dedicated children’s librarian for neighborhood branch services
  • Explore opportunities to expand partnerships with school districts; Police Activities League; Boys and Girls Club; Casa Circulo Cultural; Redwood City Parks, Recreation, and Community Services; and other youth service providers
  • Continue to offer a robust selection of children’s and family programs focused on the 3 Es: Education, Empowerment, and Encouragement, and deliver more of the Library’s signature programs, like Early Learners and Little Learners, in Spanish
  • Continue to support intergenerational literacy needs in the community through Project READ’s Adult Literacy Program, Families for Literacy Program, Families in Partnership Program, Kids in Partnership Program, and the Family Literacy Instructional Center
  • Continue to deliver a diverse set of programs and activities at the Fair Oaks branch that respond to the needs of community members of all ages, especially with regard to early literacy
  • Participate in the San Mateo County Office of Education’s One County, One Book program featuring the graphic novel March by Congressman John Lewis
  • Participate in the annual Banned Books Week celebration to promote the freedom to read
  • Continue to expand the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math program opportunities for children in English and Spanish, as well as the technology courses offered through the Downtown Library Teen Digital Lab
  • Implement Adulting 101: Essential Skills for Life After High School program, including topics such as career planning and work readiness, financial savvy, kitchen basics and easy recipes, personal well-being and home management, and community and volunteerism
  • Deliver programs for all ages that incorporate and promote the Library’s rooftop beehives and the Bee Wall Interpretive Center
  • Partner with the Redwood City Library Foundation to update the Redwood Shores Branch Library Interpretive Center with physical improvements, interactive touch screens, and new content such as information about sea level rise

Community Impacts

To measure its contributions to the community, the Library tracks the following:

  • The Library will maintain over 90% customer satisfaction rate in Redwood City Neighborhood Survey
  • At least 80% of attendees at library events will report positive changes in behavior, knowledge, or confidence as a result of attending (e.g., parents or caregivers attending library family programs will report reading to their children 3 or more times per week)
  • Over 50% of Redwood City and North Fair Oaks children aged 0-14 will participate in the Summer Learning Challenge
  • The Library will also strive to maintain or increase:
    • Number of attendees at library events, particularly preschool and school-aged children and their families
    • Hours of volunteer activities per year
    • Number of adult learners receiving instruction from Project READ tutors and meeting at least one of their individual learning goals
    • Number of checkouts (including electronic), visitors, and technology users
    • Percentage of Redwood City and North Fair Oaks 3rd graders reading at or above grade level