August 4, 2011 - 10:08am — Anonymous
The Public Library Survey and Annual Report of Public Libraries in Alberta (Annual Report) is due each year at the end of February. Before the end of the calendar year, library managers want to be sure they're on top of the data they'll need to report for that year.
Parkland has compiled much of the data required for the Annual Report.
For several items on the Annual Report you can either keep records throughout the year or keep track of numbers for one week and multiply by 50. Parkland Regional Library recommends using 3 or 4 sample weeks throughout the year to get a more accurate picture of what happens in your library.
A handy counting sheet is available that can be used to keep track of some numbers.
1) Reference questions – The Annual Report asks for the number of reference questions answered in person, by telephone (or fax), and electronically (email or other online). Directional questions (e.g. Where is the bathroom?) do not count as reference questions, nor do administrative ones (e.g. How do I get a library card?). Remember to count Readers’ Advisory questions (e.g. What author writes like Janet Evanovich?).
2) Library users – If the library does not have a counter on the door, staff will need to keep track of how many people enter the library. You can count the same person if they enter the library multiple times.
3) In house use – These are items that are used within the library but not checked out. If you do not regularly use Horizon’s “in House” checkin, you can do so to count these during your sample week(s) or you can manually count and record these items.
4) Workstations – There are three counts regarding computer use:
- Number of public workstations with and without internet access
- Workstation users - The number of people using the public computers. In this case, only count each person once a day.
- Workstation sessions – This is the number of times the public computers are used. In this case, you can count the same person twice. For example, if someone comes in during the morning to use the computer and returns in the afternoon, that would be one user and two sessions.
- Workstation hours – The number of hours the workstations are in use. If there are three public computers, each used for 5 hours, then workstation hours for the day would be 15 hours.
Satisfaction Survey - A survey template is available that includes all the questions required for the Annual Report. Remember you can add more questions!
An online survey can be posted on your library's website. If printing the survey for library users, don’t forget to identify the library at the top of the page and in question #7.