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Measuring What Matters

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2014 NEKLS Trustee Workshop
Joan Frye Williams

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Measuring What Matters

  1. 1. Measuring What Matters Presented by Joan Frye Williams NEKLS Summer Trustee Workshop June 7, 2014
  2. 2. To understand how your library relates to your community…
  3. 3. Look beyond what’s always been measured
  4. 4. Look beyond the conventional wisdom
  5. 5. 1. Start with the people
  6. 6. As long as you’re looking at groups, you’re not breaching confidentiality
  7. 7. Who is eligible to use your library?
  8. 8. • Demographics • Neighborhoods • Destinations: where residents work, play, shop, go to school, and hang out • Technology availability/usage • Quality of life goals and priorities
  9. 9. Who has signed up for a library card?
  10. 10. Member profile • Age range • Neighborhood • School (add to patron record) • Other demographics or target audiences (add to patron record) e.g. Spanish speakers, business owners, new residents, etc. • Recruitment rate • Retention rate
  11. 11. Who works at the library?
  12. 12. Employee and volunteer profile • Age range • Years of service • Similarity to community profile
  13. 13. 2. Reach consensus on what role your library should play in your community
  14. 14. Consensus  The process was fair  I understood the decision criteria  There was an opportunity for my voice to be heard  Even if the direction isn’t exactly what I would have chosen, I will support it with positive communications and actions
  15. 15. Strategic profile • Mission, vision, values • Alignment with broader community goals • Positioning with respect to other service providers • Desired impact
  16. 16. 3. Get acquainted with library services
  17. 17. What can the community get from their library?
  18. 18. Service profile • Complete list of services available • When each service was introduced • How each service relates to the library’s strategic profile • Where each service is offered – in the library, out in the community, online/virtual
  19. 19. Which services are members choosing?
  20. 20. Demand data • Number and percentage of members who are using each service • Types/groups of members who are using each service • Seasons, days, or times of heaviest demand • Services for which community demand exceeds the library’s capacity to respond, with an estimate of the gap
  21. 21. Bonus: What is a “typical” transaction for members of different groups?
  22. 22. 4. Understand how library resources are allocated
  23. 23. What does the community get for its investment?
  24. 24. Cost data for key services • Per capita • Per member • Per user • Per program/event • Per transaction Compare: 1. Total cost 2. Staff costs only
  25. 25. 5. Be on the lookout for…
  26. 26. Diversification
  27. 27. Signs that interest in a service is waning
  28. 28. Cost/demand disparities
  29. 29. Outliers and exceptions
  30. 30. Omissions
  31. 31. Surprises
  32. 32. 6. Gather brief, compelling stories about the impact of library services Critical pieces: 1. Person – Caden was a bright 6 year old boy. 2. Problem – Caden had a stutter, and was having trouble in school. 3. Library intervention – Caden’s Mom took him to the library, and he saw a library program where children were reading to service dogs. Caden began reading to Toby, and eventually overcame his stutter. 4. Happy ending – Caden’s Mom called last week, and he’s doing much better in school!
  33. 33. joan@jfwilliams.com Let’s continue the conversation… Photo by Martin Helmke

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