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Everything Is Connected

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By Lena Geraghty, on June 23, 2014

While browsing around the Alameda city manager’s webpage, I noticed a link that said performance measures. Performance measures? I’m learning about performance measures right now in PUBA 752, Productivity in Local Government, and my city of residence is instituting them at the same time? This sounds like an opportunity to combine my coursework with real-life application.

The Alameda Free Library is one of the city departments that will be using performance measures. This won’t be a big change for the library because it collects most of the data already for the California State Library’s yearly survey. But as I was looking over the draft performance measures, I wondered if they were truly measuring the effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity of the library and its services. Out of the nine draft measures, five were workload measures (“bean counting”) and the rest were effectiveness measures (how well is a service being performed?). Do these measures align with how the library seeks to serve the community and its patrons? I got permission from the director of the library to further explore this matter with the assistant city manager who is spearheading the performance measures movement. Unfortunately for me, she’s on vacation until the end of the month, so my curiosity and questions will have to wait.

In other news, the director and all the supervising librarians accepted my revised Internet use policy so I will be presenting the changes to the library board in July! Next week, I’ll move on to revising the computer use policy. I sent out a survey to library staff on Wednesday asking for their feedback on the current policy and how they’d like it changed. I’m anxious to see their suggestions and if they line up with my thoughts.

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