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Case Study Analysis

Abstract

Throughout the spring semester, the author will be doing a case study analysis of the Kingsport Public Library and focusing on their Time for Two’s storytime for two-year-olds. The results will be published via web in seven parts: the public library context,identification of the public library users, service to assess/evaluate, case study analysis, developing an evaluation action plan, collecting and analyzing data, and user centered assessment/evaluation in public library services. For this assignment, the author examined a similar service for Time for Two’s, but at a different library.

4.1 Identify one other PL that provides similar services to the one you propose to assess/evaluate at your PL. Describe, analyze, and provide feedback about the efforts being made at the case-study PL with regard to the selected service and user-centered assessment/evaluation strategies.

The only library in the region that offers a two-year-old storytime is the Johnson City Public Library. JCPL is also a Level V library, meaning they serve between 50,000-300,000 people (Tennessee State Library and Archives, N.d.). The estimated population of Johnson City in 2013 was 65, 123 (U.S. Census Bureau, 2013). In contrast to Kingsport Public Library, JCPL offers Two’s Company twice a week at 10:15-10:45 AM on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings (Johnson City Library, 2015). KPL offers Time for Two’s at 10:30-11:00 AM on Thursdays (Kingsport Public Library, 2015).

For KPL, there are currently no formal user-centered feedback and evaluation for Time for Two’s. Patrons will often thank staff as they leave and have not expressed any complaints or concerns to any staff members. There are currently no plans to enact user-centered feedback specifically for Time for Two’s. The staff bases how the program is doing based on program attendance, which continues to be steady and does not generally drop below ten two-year-olds and the same number of adults (Jones, K, Personal Communication, March 5, 2015).

4.2 For the PL under case-study, describe how the library represents, manages, and provides services related to your selected service/program.

The staff member who manages storytime is Library Assistant Kyndra Jones. Her mother volunteers on Tuesday mornings to assist with Preschool Storytime and a different volunteer comes on Thursdays to assist. Each adult volunteer is a retired elementary school teacher with years of experience with children. Kyndra Jones plans, organizes, and executes storytime. She puts together the brochure, prints it for use in house, and posts the same brochure on the library’s website. She also updates the library’s calendar to ensure storytime is listed and updates the library’s Facebook a few times each week with reminders about both Preschool and Time for Two’s storytime. Statistics are kept of how many children and adults attend each storytime, along with notes about the weather if necessary and other events in town that could affect attendance.

Time for Two’s is offered only at the library. Storytimes are performed off-site for outreach, and sometimes daycares come to the library for storytime, but both are considered part of the library’s outreach program. As such, they are performed by the Outreach Library Assistants which are Tonya Deboard and Michelle Milburn and do not always have the same props as the puppet stage is not portable (Jones, K, Personal Communication, March 3, 2015).

4.3 Discuss how your case-study PL represents elements about the service being studied in relation to its scope and objectives, activities, and resources. Also, examine the role of the users in assessing/evaluating the service.

KPL does not have an official mission or vision statement particular to Time for Two’s storytime. However, the program aids in the library’s vision “to be a gateway for all learners” (Kingsport Public Library, 2011). Time for Two’s is intended to introduce children not only to the library, but to socializing with other children along with starting to learn concepts important for developmental growth. Storytime helps to prepare children for future daycare and preschool by giving them a routine and expecting them to pay attention and stay within one area as future teachers will expect. It helps the children to associate books with fun activities and gives parents examples of different ways to interact with their children with books.

The scheduling for Time for Two’s remains consistent throughout the year with a new theme each week. Parents know that Time for Two’s is Thursday mornings at 10:30 in the auditorium. Regulars know that storytime typically takes a break for a week or two before Summer Reading and a week or two after Summer Reading and right around the December holiday season. Any and all changes are announced at storytime, noted on the library’s website, and posted on Facebook multiple times.

There is currently no user-centered feedback for Time for Two’s at KPL. Staff members listen to see what parents say about storytime as they leave, but nothing is formal. Additionally, records are kept of the number of children and adults attending each storytime, which are used as an indicator of how the program is doing.

4.4 Analyze the effectiveness of the case-study PL in providing the services under study.

Though KPl does not formally collect feedback on Time for Two’s, the only complaint ever received is that it is offered only once a week. Parents routinely thank staff as they leave storytime every week. Many of the children call Kyndra Jones “Ms. Kyndra” and parents report the children will include her in their daily prayers. Several children makes gifts for Ms. Kyndra as a thank-you for everything she does for storytime and tell stories about the children singing some of the storytime songs at home (Jones, K, Personal Communication, March 3, 2015). Combined with the steady program attendance, KPL appears to be extremely effective in offering Time for Two’s storytime.

4.5 Provide similarities and differences between the PL example in your case-study and your collaborating PL. You should find information about the available services at the case-study PL on the web and also contact (email, phone, visit) people working at the PL to gather information.

The structure of the two-year-old storytime is similar at both libraries. KPL and JCPL. Both involve songs, fingerplays, and books. KPL often offers a craft, which JCPL does not, but JCPL does often offer take home coloring sheets and some sheets with the lyrics of the songs sang in storytime. JCPL offers it twice a week (Johnson City Public Library, 2015) and KPL offers it once a week (Kingsport Public Library, 2015). JCPL rotates through the staff for who performs stortyime (Johnson, L, Personal Communication, March 10, 2015) and KPL currently has one staff member who does all the programming for Time for Two’s (Jones, K, Personal Communication, January 25, 2015).

The only way to attend storytime is to come to the library during the program time for both KPL and JCPL. There is no presence on Youtube nor are the materials able to be taken out of the library with the exception of the books used in the program, which are always available for check-out. As mentioned earlier, JCPL does often offer take home sheets though those are certainly not a full storytime; however, they are beneficial in extending the skills learned in storytime into the home.

JCPL does have formal user-centered feedback through a survey offered online and in house, but it is done, at most, once a year. The survey is always available in-house, but is rarely used. Like KPL, JCPL bases the success of the program on the fact that both times are generally filled and the users do not report any problems to staff. When the survey is requested by staff, it is put online for users (Johnson, L, Personal Communication, March 10, 2015).

4.6 What did you learn about user-centered assessment/evaluation and services being studied at the case-study PL in the context of your collaborating PL?

By examining a similar service at a different library, the author was able to see parallels and differences. Both libraries offer a storytime specific to two-year-olds and their needs though JCPL offers it twice a week. Though JCPL does have user-centered feedback, it is not offered formally on a regular basis. For a two-year-old storytime, formal feedback is infrequent. Instead, staff rely on oral feedback week to week and attendance statistics to determine if the program is doing well. Storytime is viewed as so essential within the library that is is rarely thought of in term of formal feedback. Additionally, the work being done at storytime for such a young audience at such an important time in their lives is difficult to quantify with a survey. It is further complicated by the fact that the target audience does not yet possess the necessary skills to tell their own opinions. Adult feedback must be replied upon to determine the childrens’ feeling toward storytime. For the author, it was enlightening to learn that formal feedback is used so rarely in a two-year-old storytime and that statistics, which are often seen as boring, can be the biggest indicator of effectiveness.

Reference

Kingsport Public Library. (2011). Kingsport Public Library Long Range Plan Summary.(Unpublished document).

Kingsport Public Library. (2015). Retrieved from http://www.kingsportlibrary.org/kids/storytime/.

Johnson City Public Library. (2015). Retrived from http://www.jcpl.net/children-programs/.

Tennessee State Library and Archives. (N.d). Retrieved from http://www.tennessee.gov/tsla/lps/statistics/statistics.html.

United States Census Bureau. (2013). State & County Quick Facts: Johnson City (city), Tennessee. Retrived from http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/47/4738320.html.

Spring 2015

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