Bartlett Library - Managed Services

Want to know more about the Memphis Public Library / Avenu proposal?


Why is the City considering this option for the library?

On July 1, 2004, the City of Bartlett began contracting the Memphis Public Library (MPL) to provide management and support services directly to the Bartlett branch. That partnership has been successful, but there has been a recent decline in the MPL's ability to achieve the collection and circulation results the City of Bartlett expects. The City has worked with the MPL administration throughout the year to resolve the issue. However, a solution has yet to be provided. 

 Therefore, the City of Bartlett published a request for managed services at the Bartlett Library to explore options. Avenu submitted a proposal to provide that service and currently manages the Germantown Library. 

 For more information about the Memphis Public Library, please review their presentation from a recent work session with the City of Bartlett. 

 Partnership with Memphis Public Library - 2023

What happens next?

The Board of the Mayor and Alderman (BMA) held a work session on December 12, 2023, at 4:00 pm for managed services at the Bartlett Library. Based on the outcome of that work session, the City of Bartlett will host a Public Hearing on January 9, 2024, at 6:00 pm at City Hall, located at 6400 Stage Rd., to provide citizens with an opportunity to speak for or against the prospect of Avenu managing the Bartlett Library or allowing the Memphis Public Library (MPL) to continue providing the service. Afterward, the BMA will vote to approve or deny the request to discontinue the partnership with the MPL. If the BMA votes to discontinue the relationship with the MPL, the next vote would be to accept Avenu as the managed service vendor for library services. If the BMA denies the request to discontinue the relationship, the MPL will continue managing the facility.

What does the partnership with the Memphis Public Library provide Bartlett residents?

The Memphis Public Library partnership currently offers citizens access to over 1.5 million titles in books, periodicals, and ebooks, as well as FREE access to over 70 digital databases, including, LinkedIn Learning, and Newsbank. Some of the additional offerings provided through this partnership are listed below:

  • MPL delivers book requested holds within 24-48 hours from any other library in the Memphis Library system. The delivery service for Memphis delivers to the Bartlett location twice a day to ensure prompt delivery of bookholds.
  • MPL offers free membership to those who live in Memphis, Bartlett, and other designated areas of Shelby County. MPL also provides free membership to all educators and City of Bartlett employees, no matter where they reside.  
  • The MPL partnership provides access to funds through grants from the Memphis Library Foundation and other outside organizations, including TVA and International Paper, which help to support summer reading programs, early literacy centers, and teen spaces.
  • MPL offers access to materials in the Memphis Room and Cloud901 Tech Lab at Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library.

What is Avenu? 

Avenu offers library management services and partners with community leaders to strategize, develop, and deliver excellent library services in alignment with community goals. Avenu team members manage day-to-day library operations focusing on resource and service excellence. The City establishes all library policies and maintains ownership of the library and its assets, from the building to the books and digital materials to the furniture and technology. Please review the included presentation for more information about Avenu's management proposal. 

 Avenu presentation to City of Bartlett - 2023

If approved, when would Avenu begin managing the Bartlett Library?

The City of Bartlett must provide the Memphis Public Library with six (6) months’ notice to discontinue services. Therefore, Avenu would not begin operating the facility until July 10, 2024, at the earliest.   

 What access would members have to library collection and circulation compared to the offerings at the Memphis Public Library?

The Memphis Public Library (MPL) collection and circulation figures are provided compared to those current offerings at area libraries. If the Avenu option were approved, the City of Bartlett would seek to enter into an intergovernmental agreement to exchange books with the Town of Collierville and City of Germantown. 

 The comparison is displayed in the provided table based on recent circulation statistics compiled from 2022 State reports.  

Library table

With Avenu, will Library users have access to electronic resources and Libby?

Yes. The City of Bartlett will be able to participate in the Tennessee R.E.A.D.S. statewide consortium. This includes a vast catalog of more than 275,000 copies of fiction and nonfiction titles, including mystery, biography & autobiography, fantasy, children, young adult, magazines, videos, and more. In addition, the Bartlett Library can purchase additional community titles to better meet patron demand. 

What would happen to existing library staff?

Staff continuity is essential for the library to remain connected to the community and ensure a local focus. All existing staff would be encouraged to meet with Avenu and learn more about career options, competitive wages and benefits, and an organizational culture of investing in ongoing personal and professional growth. All employees would then be allowed the opportunity to interview for a position with Avenu. 

What would happen with the Friends of the Library if Avenu provided operational support?

Avenu has a strong relationship with Germantown Friends group and supports their work. Used book sales and other activities are part of the partnership. Proceeds from book sales and other contributions go directly to the library, not Avenu.