Combining staff services is one way for a community to maximize its resources.
At a special meeting Monday (July 25), Mansfield’s town council and representatives from the Mansfield school system will enter into preliminary discussions about the possibility of combining some library staffing services.
The special meeting is scheduled for Monday at 6:30 p.m. in the council’s chambers located in the Audrey P. Beck Municipal Building.
The workshop will precede the regular council meeting scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in the same location.
As part of Mansfield’s strategic plan, town officials keep a watchful eye out for opportunities to share services with other communities as well as with its own board of education.
A key factor in making changes, which involve personnel, is timing.
“We’ve got some turnover in key library positions at the public library and at the schools,” said Mansfield Town Manager Matthew Hart.
The idea behind shared services is promoting efficiency and effectiveness, Hart said.
Hart said the town wants to consider ways to share library staff in such areas as purchasing and technical processing – or any other area where shared services would be a benefit overall.
The discussions will not include changes in physical space but could, for example, include the possibility of having two paraprofessionals handle technical processing of library materials on the town’s side of the equation, Hart said.
Regional School District 19 Superintendent Bruce Silva can attest to the efficacy of shared services and said the town and the high school district share a number of services in the areas of finance, fuel, grounds maintenance and food services. “We have a lot of initiatives…a lot of things going on,” Silva said.
District 19, however, is not included in the upcoming discussion over consolidating library services, which rather involves the Mansfield School District’s elementary and middle school system.
District 19 is the high school district serving Mansfield, Willington and Ashford.
Hart emphasized that Monday’s workshop is the very first step in the process, the opening of discussions.
“These are ideas only,” Hart said. “We will take the ideas to the professional staff and the library advisory board (and ask them) to critically review them to see whether they are feasible and whether they have merit,” Hart said.
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