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Issue cards | Service Design Tools
> An open collection of communication tools used in design processes that deal with complex systems.
design  service_design  toolkit 
6 weeks ago by nicprice
Reentry: Start Here | Urban Omnibus
ER: The vision of a library is a very open system, where people can have free access to information, technology, and books. But if we’re looking at inequality and true inclusion, sometimes the services have to change to better fit the population. It’s about designing something that is directly responding to a community need.
When we started, there were three main buckets of Outreach Services, that each focused on particular populations. I was the Coordinator of Immigrant Services; we focused on creating meaningful access to all library services for people who have limited English proficiency, and we engaged with communities and partners to develop programming that connected people to some services that don’t traditionally happen in a library. With the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, we placed lawyers in libraries to provide free immigration legal services. That’s where BPL worked with DESIS before.

Another bucket was Transitional Services, which was focused on people experiencing homelessness and people touched by the justice system. Homelessness is a major issue in New York City, and a lot of people who come into the libraries are living in shelters, or may be street homeless. They come because it’s a safe space, where nobody will bother them and they can sit and read. So we partnered with Breaking Ground to place social workers in the libraries. The last part of Outreach Services is Services for Older Adults.

We’re in the middle of a shift toward looking at libraries as embedded in communities, as being part of the ecosystem. In the last couple years, throughout the profession, there’s been more of an emphasis on looking at diversity, equity, and the ways that libraries can play a role in dismantling oppression. That opens a space for us to be more explicit about what we’re trying to do. Libraries are one of the foundational institutions of a democracy. The BPL believes that libraries should be community leaders and conveners, so our Strategic Plan emphasizes very purposeful community engagement....

LP: The typical tools of service design are journey maps and service blueprints, which are essentially timelines enriched with qualitative data about users, staff, and the organization. The purpose is to understand what happens in a service, what causal relationships exist between people and the system, what pain points exist, and how the processes can be improved.
Part of our theory of work is to acknowledge that there are some blind spots in this process. It’s a humble approach to design. We insert ourselves as a group of researchers to facilitate the exchange of knowledge between participants, to bridge information gaps and find ways of sharing needed information more effectively, but we are newcomers in this space. We have had some experience working with reentry services in the past, but the families and the libraries and the non-profits are the experts. We’re trying to unearth the knowledge that already exists in this community, and to facilitate the direction that the community as a whole wants to move forward.

Of course it’s never a linear thing; we’re not only trying to map out things mechanically but trying to understand culturally, socially, economically, everything about where a given participant is coming from. They’re people, so things are kind of messy and complex. Enter ethnography.

John Bruce (JB): I’ll be conducting the fieldwork for this project with filmmaker Pawel Wojtasik. We’ll be spending time with stakeholders, forming relationships with them and recording video and audio as they interact with systems of incarceration and reentry.
Ethnographic practices come out of anthropology, but unlike typical social science approaches, design ethnography allows for open-ended, immersive, and collaborative experiences with interlocutors. We’re not going into the field with a strict agenda, a set of interview questions, or a hypothesis that we’re asked to prove or disprove. It’s not like, “OK, today we have 90 minutes and we’re going to follow somebody who goes through the system or through the process of utilizing services.” That becomes stilted quickly. But rather we’re allowing for behaviors, motivations, needs, desires, patterns, and propensities to emerge and evolve as these issues bubble up...

As part of Outreach Services’ support to the branches that are running TeleStory, we go to the branches and speak with the staff about what patrons say they need. For instance, at the Bedford branch, which is really close to the Atlantic Armory where a lot of folks coming out of the criminal justice system find transitional shelter, the branch staff get all sorts of really specific reentry questions. It’s one of the biggest shelters in the city, and a lot of people come in from that shelter during the day to use the library....

One idea that’s been very resonant for a lot of the branch staff is this idea of having reentry navigators: people who have firsthand experience going through the criminal justice system who would be available at set hours at the library. So instead of saying, “I don’t know how to help you,” staff can say, “We have a reentry navigator who’s here on Tuesday, would you like to reserve a slot then?”
ER: It also involves creating different kinds of spaces. One of the questions we’ve been asking ourselves is, what can the physical space in the branch do to create a psychologically welcoming environment for people? There is a traditional model of having a desk that someone goes to. In some ways that promotes access, because it’s something people know to expect at the library. And anybody could go up and ask a question; it’s not like, “If you have this problem, go over to that room.”
With the immigrant population we have “New American Corners” which are a physical space. But we’re not going to have the “Formerly Incarcerated Corner.” It requires a really different approach. We got an interesting idea from our friends over at the Mayor’s office. What was the name they came up with?

MC: The Family Help Desk.
libraries  social_infrastructure  prison  design_methods  service_design 
7 weeks ago by shannon_mattern
Innovating courts
David Lowe's write up of the innovation day he organised with Matthew Solle at MOJ
service_design  design  innovation  policy_design 
august 2018 by nicprice
Be Kind, Design – Nat Dudley – Medium
When you walk down the traffic-clogged streets of New York City, often considered to be one of the most liveable cities in the world, you might notice something about the cyclists. About 80% of them…
design  ideas  research  usability  book  city  public_services  service_design 
march 2018 by vloux

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