Public Libraries

Our specialty is working in small and medium sized libraries where the resources are scare and the need to focus is critical.  Our primary services are direction setting processes and creating invigorating staff day’s.

Case Study: St. Joseph Public Library

When you are regularly in the top 5 libraries of your size, you must be doing something right.  South Bend - Notre Dame aside – may not seem the most likely place to find a world-class, flourishing library – but it’s there!

The St. Joseph County Public Library (SJCPL) in South Bend, Indiana, has been our client for nearly a decade. We have worked closely with this library as they embarked on substantive ways to grow and improve on a system-wide basis. Currently SJCPL is undergoing a massive, and most impressive, facility renovation that involves all but one of their 7 buildings. 

How are they managing this feat and continuing to raise the bar as
a truly outstanding library?  We’ll share some insights we have
gathered through our work together.

They want to do more than just please people. They are innovative. Did you know that SJCPL was the first public library in the United States to create a website?

SJCPL pursues the wow factor in their facilities and services. This translates into their building design, programs and staff development. (The library uses a concept called Pattern Language to make sure that its facilities are visually pleasing and well as functiona). See for more info.

Librarians at SJCPL experience high quality staff development – and they must be prepared to grow, change, learn new skills, and take on new roles. The library has a fulltime staff member devoted to this initiative. Staff members are able to attend regional and national events and well mandatory Covey Training. They receive solid technology training programs as well.

SJCPL is a system that is expert at optimizing their finances.  Their leaders have created significant cash reserves and are astute users of financing and taxing options. While many other libraries have been plagued with the need to borrowing money and laying off staff, SJCPL has continued to build and serve their community without interruption.

The driving force behind the library is Don Napoli. Don grew up in Boston but has been in South Bend for more 30 years. He has developed his staff, built deep relationships with the community, and created an enduring legacy for the library. He is a remarkable library leader.







Reflections on our service

Stephen Bero“Dan Wiseman is one of the most thorough, competent, and genuinely caring organization development professionals I have ever worked with. I am eager to have the opportunity to work with him again.”

Stephen Bero, Director at Warren-Newport Public Library, December 20, 2007