Chrysalis Completes Boston Public Library’s Operational and Financial Assessment; Outlines Improvement Opportunities

May 1, 2015

Chrysalis Management, LLC, selected in December 2014 by the City of Boston to conduct an independent operational and financial assessment of the Boston Public Library, released its final report today. The assessment included an operational and financial review of all functions, with a deeper assessment focus for those areas where increased attention could most positively impact the Library’s performance. Along with identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the organization, Chrysalis’s report specified both short and long-term practical improvement opportunities.

The Boston Public Library (BPL) is one of several City of Boston agencies and departments that have undergone audits since Mayor Martin J. Walsh ordered performance assessments during his first year of office. The audit launched on December 8, 2014, and began with senior team meetings and a review of key documents provided by the staff at the Boston Public Library, followed by in‐person interviews with union and non-union staff from the BPL, City of Boston, and coordinating organizations such as the Leventhal Map Center, Digital Public Library of America, the Boston Public Library Foundation, and more. In all, 68 people were interviewed, external research and a benchmarking analysis was conducted, and a detailed list of opportunities for improvements was developed.

Chrysalis’s report credited the BPL with a number of accomplishments, including a clear and well-articulated strategic plan, industry vision and coordination, successful completion of major construction projects, and providing a breadth of services to the community. The report also recommended 10 high-priority improvement opportunities, which included: improved inventory management and security, union cooperation, prioritization and accountability, employee performance management, and fundraising.

Founded in 1848, the Boston Public Library was the first publicly supported municipal library in America to lend books and have a branch library. The library system houses 23 million items, second only to the Library of Congress. In FY 2014, the library system welcomed 3.7 million visitors, offered 10,000 programs, and circulated over 3.7 million items. In addition to managing traditional circulating library services including lending books and managing community programming, the BPL manages multifaceted research library services, an enormous trove of special collections, and a premier restaurant and events venue.

Chrysalis Management, LLC is a boutique advisory firm that provides top-tier financial and operational support for small and mid-sized organizations at critical inflection points. Chrysalis partners with clients for the assessment, development and implementation of action plans designed to deliver measurable business improvement. Working to accelerate change on both the revenue and cost sides of the business makes Chrysalis a valued, action-oriented partner in both consulting and interim management capacities. Chrysalis offers four main services to its clients: assessment and planning, financial management and capital sourcing, operational improvement and growth, and exit and succession execution.

To read the full Boston Public Library assessment, follow this link

Chrysalis is has offices in Boston and New York. For more information or to partner with Chrysalis, please contact Emily Lord: elord@chrysalismgmt.com

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