Implementation Scenarios

Options for the Talking Book Library for the Blind (TBLB)

  1. Stand alone branch, as TBLB is currently, with a larger space in a more transit accessible location.
    Advantages: Maintaining TBLB's strong identity as a unique service and a branch on its own like other branches, an identity that our patrons know and respect. Possibility of exciting growth as a showplace subregional library.
    Disadvantages: same as currently: somewhat of a lack of visibility and knowledge of service in the greater four county community and even somewhat within the library community ("foster child") -- this must be ameliorated with extensive strong outreach and the building of a strong and vital library.
  2. Co-Location as part of a new/remodeled Fresno Central Library.
    Advantages: Convenient and much easier access for patrons to the many other programs and services the library provides beyond TBLB's audio collection: Access to the library's commercial audio book and music collection, videos, described videos, large print books, adult and children's programming, reference materials, internet computers (if made accessible). No longer marginalized -- as one patron put it, "I could finally take my family to a library WE ALL could use". Convenience and efficiency for staff in terms of delivery of mail, visibility among other library staff, use of other library staff amenities. High library traffic mean more visibility for service but would require careful explanation to curious walk-in people as to qualifications for service (would have to turn non-disabled people away and redirect them to the commercial audiotape collection).
    Disadvantages: Possibility of being "shelved away" in a non-visible or non-traffic area of the new central library and becoming more of a "warehouse and post office" function than an active, vital, important and known unique service of the library. Downtown location is shied away from by many TBLB patrons for a variety of reasons -- fears for safety, lack of good transit (current Central location best, Fulton Mall location second, Arts/Cultural location third choice, but no choice has really GOOD transit accessibility). TBLB staff would need to maintain their identity as staff of TBLB specifically while blending into the staff amenities of the Central Library.
  3. Co-location with a new/remodeled Central Library, but not directly a part of the building -- some sort of a "stand alone unit" on Central Library property connected by breezeway or other method to the Central Library.
    Advantages: This allows for more of a strong unique identity while maintaining the convenience of access to Central Library programs and resources.
    Disadvantages of transit/downtown location remain.
  4. Co-location with an existing or new branch in another portion of the city with better transit accessibility.
    Advantages and disadvantages are similar to Central library location, including convenient access to many library services and programs, but accessibility by transit would be improved and the aura of "downtown" not a concern. Special concern would be that TBLB maintain its identity as a library serving all four counties and not a service or adjunct of whatever branch location it is attached to. Very careful planning would be required for this. Staff again would need to maintain their identity as staff of TBLB and not staff of the branch it is co-located with.
  5. Co-location with another resource organization serving a similar community to TBLB (For example: The Valley Center for the Blind, the Center for Independent Living, the Area Agency on Aging's new facility at the old Sierra Hospital).
    Advantages: "one stop shopping" for patrons to resources they can use: gradual transition and exposure for patrons into TBLB's services.
    Disadvantages: Further marginalizes TBLB from the rest of the Fresno County Library as "for the disabled when many who might not consider themselves "disabled" or utilize the services of other organizations still qualify for TBLB. Careful partnership arrangements would need to be made and the health of the sister organization(s) well considered

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