Developing an Evaluation Action Plan
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Leesburg Public Library is a member library of the Lake County Library System located in Central Florida. The library provides several services to the Leesburg city community, Lake County community, and seasonal residents. The Leesburg Library Literary Guild (LLLG) is an adult book club service provided by the Leesburg Public Library to Lake County Library System card holders. This service has been offered by the adult services department since 2010, and provides two chapters with twelve members in each. This assignment will be developing an evaluation action plan by assessing who will be evaluated, services problems, what will be evaluated, how will the service be evaluated, purpose of the evaluation, and how will it be reported (Adult Services Supervisor, personal communication, March 31, 2015).
5. Developing an Evaluation Action Plan
This assignment will help you prepare an evaluation by discussing various discrete activities in your proposed plan. For this assignment especially study Ch. 1 and Ch. 3-6 EMLS.
5.1 Develop a rationale to propose user-centered assessment/evaluation of the selected PL service. Assess the selected PL service carefully and explain your proposal in relation to participation of primary, secondary, and tertiary users identified in the earlier assignment.
The proposed user-centered assessment of the Leesburg Library Literary Guild book club is to, determine if 2014-2015 book club procedures are effective at meeting customer expectations. Currently the library does not provide library staff led book club discussions. Customers are requesting to have library staff actively participate and lead book discussions. Data needs to be gathered to determine if current book club structure is meeting the needs of the customer, without a library staff leader (Matthews, 2007, p.9).
According to the Adult Services Supervisor the primary users of Adult Services are Caucasian retired seniors. A 100% of the book club users fall into this category (Adult Services Supervisor, personal communication, February 12, 2015). The evaluation will be focused on the twenty-two current users of the Leesburg Library Literary Guild (LLLG) book club members. The LLLG consists of all woman, Caucasian, retired, and 50 years old or older. The user-centered data needed to assess the LLLG book club is focused on the current structure of meetings. To best assess this data it will need to come from users who have been a part of the current season's meetings and especially those who have participated in past seasons. The problem centers around customers requesting similar services experienced in previous years. Two years ago the book club had an Adult Services Library Assistant who was the leader of the book club services. Evaluation from past users on current book club meetings will be vital in assessing if current procedures are effective in meeting book club needs. Although newer members are also vital in the assessment as an unbiased control group. In this assessment the control group are members who have been a part of the LLLG book club for two years or less, who have not experienced the book club meetings that had a library staff leader. Members who have been in the book club for three years or more are a part of the experimental group, who have experienced the library staff leadership of the book club. Answers to the user-centered assessment should be analyzed as a whole on how current services are effective, but also compare control groups answers versus experimental group's answers to analyze current service effectiveness as compared to previous years (Adult Services Supervisor, personal communication, March 31, 2015).
The Leesburg Public Library's Adult Services secondary users are working adults and older students. Older students are individuals returning to college or getting a degree later in life, late 20's or older. They make up about 50% of Adult Services use. Secondary users would not be evaluated because they are not directly affected by this proposal, but the evaluation of primary users may indirectly affect secondary users. The LLLG book club all consist of retired adults, 50 years old or older. Although several of the members are active volunteers in the library's Friends of the Library bookstore, and Lake County Library System Adult Literacy Program. The Director of the Adult Literacy program acquires volunteers from Lake County to tutor one-on-one Lake County residents ages eighteen and older in local library's for ESL, GED, learning to read, write, pronunciation, and other educational needs such as preparing for career and school placement test. In the user-centered evaluation it may be beneficial to the library, as a library centered viewpoint, to know how many of the book club members are active members in other areas of the library (Matthews, 2007, p.5). This can prove to be an opportunity to recruit more users who may have the time to volunteer or participate in other areas of the library. The assessment will also project if members in the book club are active in the library proving that our advertisement of library events is effective or if they are only active in the book club. By finding more individuals that will volunteer in the Adult Literacy program it will directly affect the 50% of secondary users who are working adults and older students seeking one-on-one tutoring (Adult Services Supervisor, personal communication, February 12, 2015).
The Leesburg Public Library's Adult Services tertiary users are those who call, or irregular users that come for a specific one time purpose. Most of these users are unseen making their demographics unquantifiable because of their remote use of services. They make up about 10% of Adult Services use (Adult Services Supervisor, personal communication, February 12, 2015). Tertiary users would not be evaluated because they are not affected by this proposal. Although they make up about a 100% of the potential user base. Majority of individuals who inquire about the book club will call the library to ask if a book club service is offered. Most of these individuals will go on a wait list to join the chapter one book club which meets every second Wednesday at 2 p.m. or join the chapter two book club which meets every first Tuesday at 6 p.m. It may be beneficial to assess if current meeting times are satisfactory for book club users. Although, current times were specifically chosen to reach a variety of different users who have varying work schedules (Adult Services Supervisor, personal communication, March 31, 2015).
5.2 Identify the problem (related to your selected service) in terms of: production bottlenecks; tasks that are performed frequently; activities that require frequent movement; and declining budgets.
The Leesburg Public Library has offered the LLLG book club for five years to the Lake County Library System users. During that time there has been two different Adult Services Supervisors and two different Adult Services Library Assistants who have lead or managed the book club. Many of the users have stayed the same during that time. Some procedures have remained the same, others have changed due to the necessity of changing of staff available time, and many have not been recorded losing vital information. These problems have been divided into four categories below: "production bottlenecks, tasks that are performed frequently, activities that require frequent movement, and declining budgets (Matthews, 2007, pg. 8)".
The primary bottleneck is staffing time shortage. In previous years the Adult Services Supervisor was able to arrange the schedule for an Adult Services Library Assistant to attend each book club meeting and spend several hours preparing for meetings. The Adult Services department has changed hands with Adult Services Supervisors and Adult Services Library Assistants. As new staff members come into their new roles, job duties are distributed to meet each ones individuals' strengths and manageable time. The previous Adult Services Library Assistant was passionate about the book club and spent many hours at work and on personal time preparing for it. She had a flexible schedule and was able to move it around to fit with book club meetings. Her book club self-appointed duties included attending every meeting, reading the book multiple times, researching the author, developing discussion points, and leading the group through discussions. The current Adult Services Library Assistant has several roles in her position and also is a full time Graduate student limiting her personal time. She is unable to rearrange her schedule to be able to attend all book club meetings. Her book club duties include corresponding with the book club through email, phone and in person, preparing the meeting room space, and informally evaluating the book club needs through communication with members. With each staff member having tight schedules and several job duties at this time there is not a staff member who has the extra time to devote to both book clubs (Adult Services Supervisor, personal communication, March 31, 2015).
Tasks that are performed frequently:
There are several tasks that are performed frequently for book club services. These tasks include contacting book club members by phone and email about coming and past events, preparing the board room for book club meetings, and distributing book club books. The following will describe the twice monthly process of preparing for book club meetings. Near the beginning of each month an email is composed which states when the next meeting will be, which book will be discussed, which book will be ready to pick up, attachment of the library newsletter, and any other messages about library events or changes that will occur at the next meeting. The email is distributed to each member and members without email are called. The day of the meeting handouts are gathered of the Book Page (a periodical of book reviews), Adult Services technology class's handout, and the library newsletter. The Adult Services Library Assistant then gathers the books for the next meeting to be handed out at the meeting. If not all books have been returned from the previous book club then the Assistant will search the catalog to see if the library has other copies outside the book club kit in regular print, large print, audio book, and eBook. The board room is set up with handouts, name badges, next book to read, sign in sheet, and writing instruments. The next book club book to read has a bookmark placed in it that states when the next meeting is and that the book is an extended 30 day check out. At the beginning of the meeting the Adult Services Library Assistant or Adult Services Supervisor greets the book club members; presents information about adult programs; asks if there are any concerns or things they would like to see at the library; and departs from the meeting. Any statements made by the book club members are immediately addressed if possible. After the meeting the room is cleaned up by the Adult Services Library Assistant. The sign-up sheet attendance statistics are inputted into the library's program attendance numbers. Then the sheet is evaluated for who did not attend. A handout package and next meetings book are reserved for book club members who did not attend and placed behind the reference desk. Those members are then called or emailed to inform them that the materials are waiting for them. As members email, come in for books, or books are returned the Adult Service Library Assistant is on hand to ensure that everything is handled smoothly and promptly (Adult Services Library Assistant, personal communication, March 31, 2015).
These tasks individually take hours to a few minutes and are performed twice a month. Composing emails, while handling other tasks, can take an hour to two. Each member is individually contacted so as to protect their personal information. Preparing handouts and books can take an hour. Preparing the board room can take no more than half an hour. Greeting book club members takes from fifteen minutes to half an hour. Cleaning the board room takes ten minutes. Gathering attendance statistics, preparing books and contacting members who did not attend takes thirty minutes to an hour depending on how many members did not attend. All other communication takes five minutes to ten minutes per individual. In total the Adult Services Library Assistant's time spent with the book club services can take up to five hours per book club, or ten hours total each month. Much of this time spent could be reduced if other library duties didn't take priority while doing book club duties. Composing emails, making phone calls, and communicating to members one-on-one at meetings take the most time, and should be evaluated for efficiency and satisfaction by book club users (Adult Services Library Assistant, personal communication, March 31, 2015).
Activities that require frequent movement:
Activities that require the most movement is the processing of books, and the setting up and taking down of the board room for meetings. Setting up and taking down the board room has already been previously discussed in the above section, this can take approximately three hours. This movement involves going back and forth from the board room, Adult Services staff offices, Reference desk, downstairs to circulation, and to the stacks upstairs and downstairs to gather additional books when needed. What requires the most movement in this process is the gathering of the books. The book club books that are not being used are stored in the Adult Services staff offices, reserved books are stored behind the Reference desk, books that have come in are downstairs in Circulation, and additional books that are not in the book club kit are stored in the regular stacks for the community to check out. For each meeting the book club kit items must be gathered from the staff offices, reference desk, and circulation, and then counted. If not all twelve books are present, because one or more is checked out, then additional books are gathered from the stacks (Adult Services Library Assistant, personal communication, March 31, 2015).
The next activity that requires frequent movement is the collection development and processing of books. The LLLG book club members meet in March to suggest books for the next season. The Adult Services Supervisor is present for the meeting to eliminate books that are not available in BB&T or Ingram. A ballot is made of the suggested books and the members choose seven of the titles. The Adult Services Library Assistant gathers and compiles the votes. Once the votes are completed the Adult Services Supervisor places the purchase for the seven titles book club kits, which is two large print, ten regular print, one e-book, and one audio book copy. The items are then delivered to the County catalogers who process the books into the catalog and send them to the library. Once received at the library, Technical Services labels the books and checks the records. The books are then sent upstairs to the Adult Services for additional labels and storing until needed for meetings. This process goes through many hands. The book selection meeting takes two hours. The returning of ballots can take up to one month after distribution. The recording of votes takes less than ten minutes and is done while waiting for ballots to be returned. All other processes from ordering, cataloging, and technical services can take several weeks to a month or more depending on the backlog of other items that need to be processed. This process does not affect the book club meetings. Majority of the ordering and processing through cataloging and technical services takes place during the four months that the book club does not meet. The process is also standard for all library materials. Therefore it should not be acknowledged in the evaluation because it does not affect the proposed user-centered assessment (Adult Services Supervisor, personal communication, March 31, 2015).
According to the Adult Services Supervisor (personal communication, April 27, 2015) the book club has not been affected by declining budgets. The library has a large budget for collection development. The book club items do not have a separate budget from the regular collection development of the library. The Adult Services Supervisor provides the current book club budget and proposes an increase in budget,
"Book cost is approximately $1,000, based on a 35-40% discount by ordering through a book jobber such as B&T or Ingram (7 titles, 10 regular print and 2 large print copies; 1 eBook copy through OverDrive where available). This year I plan to ensure we have an audiobook copy as well, so that will add about $250. Costs for photocopies and adhesive name tags are covered by Adult Services supply budget. (Adult Services Supervisor, personal communication, March 31, 2015)"
5.3 Determine the scope of analysis in terms of what specific information/aspects about the selected PL service do you hope to gain by eliciting feedback from the PL users. In other words, what is the purpose for doing the evaluation? Is the library attempting to improve its operational efficiencies (internal focus), or is the study being done to better understand the effectiveness of a library service? Explain in detail.
The evaluation will have an internal and external focus to determine the effectiveness of the current book club. Book club members will be surveyed to determine if the current book club services are meeting the needs of the user. The internal focus of the library's operational efficiencies to be assessed are the type of user, meeting place, access to the reading materials, discussion with other members, a time to meet, and being informed of time, place, and availability of materials. The external focus of the library's effectiveness will be about the user's enjoyment of discussions, overall comfort of the user, being heard by library staff, having needs met quickly, satisfaction of information being shared, and reliability of place, time, and availability of materials. The evaluation will assess the external physical needs that the library provides and the internal emotional needs that the user expects to be met.
In the next several paragraphs key questions will be addressed to determine the full scope of the analysis as suggested by J.R. Matthews in The Evaluation and Measurement of Library Services (2007, p.9).
"Are the current patterns of use cause for concern? (Matthews, 2007, p.9)" Current patterns show that there is a higher demand for membership in the chapter one Wednesday book club at 2:00 p.m. then there is for the chapter two Tuesday book club at 6:00 p.m. This is cause for a concern. The chapter two book club for the last two years has had two available membership spots. Potential users who have inquired about adult book club services either decline to join or join a waitlist for the chapter one book club, because of inability to join chapter two. Reasoning for not joining chapter two at 6:00 p.m. are inability to drive in the dark, meets too late, and responsibilities at home during that time. If meeting times were assessed, change of those times may not be feasible without losing current members. The 6:00 p.m. meeting time was also chosen to meet the needs of users who work or volunteer during the day. By changing or not changing the later time to an earlier time it would equally benefit or hurt potential and current users. The decline of membership in the chapter two book club could be only a current trend. Advertisement of book club services would attract more members. By assessing the user's opinion of the efficiency of the meeting time the library will be able to better understand the level of convenience of book club meeting times. (Adult Services Supervisor, personal, communication, March 31, 2015)
"Will cost need to be determined? (Matthews, 2007, p.9)" Current book club budget is, "$1,000, and the Adult Services Supervisor proposes an additional $250 for the purchase of audio books. This cost is covered by the library's collection development budget. Costs for photocopies and adhesive name tags are covered by Adult Services supply budget." (Adult Services Supervisor, personal communication, March 31, 2015) This does not concern the proposed problem. The proposed problem is focused on the user's point of view of the book club services. The users are unaware of the cost of books for the library. Therefore the cost of the book club services does not affect the current users. The budget only shows a portion of what it costs to provide the book club services. It does not show the cost of providing assistant library staff, cost of processing in cataloging and technical services, photocopies of handouts, use of the board room (electricity, rental of space) and other individual supplies used during book processing and preparing of the board room.
"Should customers of the library be involved? (Matthews, 2007, p.9)" Library customers who are active members of the LLLG book club service will be the sole surveyed of this assessment. The proposed problem is based on the external focus of the effectiveness of the service and internal focus on the efficiency of the service for users. The members of the book club are the primary source of the effectiveness and efficiency of the book club to meet their needs. They are active in every part of the meeting, assist in collection development during the book selection meeting, and set the expectations for the book club services. The proposed evaluation should then assess how many years the user has been involved, is there a competing book club that they are a part of, how do they feel about the book club discussions, were their expectations met, and was the quality of service adequate for their needs in the areas of space, access to books, staff, time, and program.
In summary, how will finding out the effectiveness of the book club benefit the users and library? Through the evaluation of the users the library staff will have a better understanding of what the members of the book club are expecting and what is occurring during book club discussions, that the library staff is not a part of. By using an anonymous survey the users may feel freer to answer honestly about expectations that were not met or aspects they wish were better. The user may have not thought about the separate aspects of the book club that the guided survey may help them analyze. The user can then feel that they are being heard and a contributor to how the book club is run. The evaluation will highlight areas in need of improvement but also confirm that its purpose to serve as a place of intellectual discussion for all members is serving that library goal. There are different methods that the book club can choose to serve the user's needs. If the users feel that their needs are not being met or that it is not meeting the libraries goal the library may consider changing how the book club is conducted. If a change in how the book club is run is chosen, then it will be pertinent to gather more case study information from other library book clubs in Lake County and evaluate their services. By first doing an external focus evaluation of how the book club is effectively meeting the needs of the user. Then the library can conduct a better internal focus evaluation of the library operations (Matthews, 2007, p.9).
5.4 Determine the kinds of data that you hope to gather (be specific). What evaluation methodology and design will be used (quantitative and/or qualitative methods: be very specific in the types of tools that will be employed)? How will data be collected?
Qualitative and quantitative methods will be designed into a paper survey. The survey will be given to the book clubs at the beginning of their meeting on April 7th and 8th. After the meeting the assessment will be gathered by the Adult Services Library Assistant and compiled into a single document. For book club members that are not able to attend the meeting the survey will be given to them when they come to get the next book to read or mailed to them. The survey will be returned at the earliest convenience of the user.
The survey begins with four quantitative questions that are factual and informative (Matthews, 2007, p.63). They are designed to assess the background information of the user such as, length of use, primary residence, and use of other book clubs. The third question is directed more at finding out the efficiency of informing the user about book club services. The questions are formatted as short answer and multiple choice.
Questions five, six, and seven are qualitative open-ended questions. They are designed to assess the user's feelings, experiences, and behaviors of the book club discussions, expectations of services, and staff communication (Matthews, 2007, p.51). Question seven also assess the library's operational efficiencies to communicate with users.
Question eight is a quantitative likert scale (Matthews, 2007, p.66). The scale assess the quality of the overall program, meeting space, access to books, library staff, and meeting times, on a scale of excellent, above average, average, below average, and poor. This question is to ascertain the user's rating of particular aspects of the book club services. From this evaluation the library will not learn why they gave the rating but will learn whether users are overall pleased or areas of improvement are needed.
5.5 Describe the user-centered assessment/evaluation strategies that you are proposing to conduct community analysis and gather feedback from users about the selected service at your PL. Identify and analyze what methods you will use to gather feedback from various kinds of users as a part of your efforts. How do you propose getting access/permissions to select users? Provide a timeline for implementing your proposed methods.
The paper survey will gather quantitative and qualitative feedback. A combination view of the library and customers viewpoint will provide the necessary information on how effective the book club services are (Matthews, 2007, p.5). Since there is a limited number of users, and they gather at a particular time a paper survey was used in order to get feedback from as many active members as possible. Members who were not able to attend the meeting were able to pick up a survey with the next book clubs reading. Survey's not picked up will be mailed with a pre-stamped and addressed envelope to have sent back.
The surveying of the book club members was pre-approved by the Adult Services Supervisor. The survey was also critiqued and approved by the Adult Services Supervisor before dissemination. The Adult Services Supervisor specifically did not want questions that had input from the users about changing services such as how to improve services or more suitable service times. She felt that such problems have already been assessed and at this time cannot be changed (Adult Services Supervisor, personal communication, March 31, 2015).
Timeline of evaluation implementation is as follows:
April 5th compose survey
April 6th survey approval by the Adult Services Supervisor.
April 7th and 8th survey disseminated to users
April 9th survey answers compiled
April 26th survey answers analyzed
April 27th analysis and original surveys reported to the Adult Services Supervisor.
5.6 Share the data collecting instrument that you propose to use. Identify the qualitative and/or quantitative measures you propose to use (what aspects are you trying to measure). Provide strategies to gather consent (consent forms, assent forms as appropriate) and your data-collecting tool(s) with listed questions/prompts, etc. You can explore multiple research methods to gather user-centered assessment/evaluation of the selected service.
The survey is meant to gather quantitative and qualitative data on the effectiveness of the Leesburg Public Library's LLLG book clubs. This data will be gathered from the LLLG book club active users. The active users are those who have attended three or more meetings as according to the signup sheets from each meeting (Adult Services Supervisor, personal communication, March 31, 2015). There are a total of nine meetings total for each group. The proposed survey first begins with a message to the survey taker to encourage the user's feedback.
"Dear LLLG Book Club member, Thank you for your time and participation in the LLLG book club. Your attendance and support of Leesburg Public Library program and services helps make this a great library! Please help us to be the best library for your needs by answering the survey below."
The survey takers were informed before the meeting that the survey was for the purpose of a graduate assignment and would also be reported to the Adult Services Supervisor as an assessment of the book club services. Which had not been done since the implementation of the book club. The surveys will be given at the beginning of the book club meeting and later gathered at the end. Book club members who did not attend the meeting will receive a survey when they get their next book or by mail.
The proposed data collecting instrument consist of eight questions or parts:
The first question is, "How long have you been a member of the LLLG book club?" This is a short answer, quantitative question to assess the users experience with the book club. The book club has changed leadership styles within the last two years. Book club members who have been a part of the book club three years or more will be aware of when the club was led by a library staff member. Members who have been a part of the book club less than two years will only have experienced the book club having a library staff correspondent. Evaluations will be split into two different groups, control group and experimental group. The control group will be evaluations that were answered by members with two or less years' experience with the book club. Their evaluations will reflect the book clubs current conditions. The experimental group will be evaluations that were answered by members with three or more years' experience with the book club. Their evaluations will reflect current conditions as compared to previous year's experiences.
The second question is, "Please mark the best description of your primary residence out of state, Leesburg, Lake County, and other." This is a multiple choice, quantitative question to assess the demographics of the users. By learning how many of the users come from the city, county, or out of state communities the library will learn who our primary, secondary, and tertiary users are. Also, will be able to evaluate to who and when to advertise the service in order to fill membership. Essentially it assess who are the users of the book club, outside of what is known: female, Caucasian, retirees, and 50 years old or older (Adult Services Supervisor, personal communication, March 31, 2015).
The third question is, "How did you learn about the Leesburg Public Library book club? Choices are friend, library staff, flyer/ display, asked, and other." This is a multiple choice, quantitative question to assess how users are learning about the book club. The library does not currently advertise the book club services. Survey's that respond with flyer/ display will most likely be those that have been a part of the book club for over two years. By assessing this the Adult Services Supervisor may learn how to best recruit new members without doing full advertisement. Full advertisement would include flyers, newsletters, and social media which may attract too many potential users for the limited amount of available space.
The fourth question is, "Are you a member of another book club? If so, How many? If you attend another book club in Lake County, will you please share the name and location?" This is a short answer, library-centric, quantitative question to assess the book clubs competition. Although, it is not an immediate concern that the book club may lose members to other book clubs. It is good to be aware of how many members participate in other forums. The user is asked to list the Lake County book clubs that they are a member with in order to find additional book clubs to serve. The book club kits that are collected for book club meetings are shared with community and other Lake County Libraries' book clubs. Currently only two other book clubs use this service (Adult Services Supervisor, personal communication, March 31, 2015). By learning the name and location of other book clubs in the area the Library may be able to advertise their book club kits more widely.
The fifth question was, "Are you active in any other clubs, organizations, or groups sponsored by the Leesburg Public Library? Please share the name of each group below." This specific question was deemed to be too intrusive to the identity of the surveyed and out of focus in defining the effectiveness of the book club services. It was re-written to state, "How would you describe the atmosphere of the book club discussions? Would you suggest this book club to others?" This is an open-ended, qualitative question to assess what occurs in the book club meetings. This data could be used to advertise the book club. The library also has goals for the book club to be a place of intellectual discussion by all members. Key elements to determine the success of the book club will be evaluated. Does the members feel that every member has a chance to speak? Are there a variety of opinions being shared in meetings to enrich the experience? Do the members stay on topic about the book or does it become just a social meeting? Are the members comfortable with the atmosphere? If members give disparaging remarks about member participation the library may want to consider finding a way to guide the book club. Ways of guiding the book clubs could be providing a library staff member to participate in meetings, providing discussion questions to focus meetings, or assigning a member of each group to help guide members and communicate issues to the Adult Services Supervisor.
The sixth question is, "How well did the 2014-2015 book club meet your expectations?" This is an open-ended, qualitative question to assess what are the user's expectations. Is the book club effective at meeting the user's expectations? Through this question a wide variety of responses may be solicited. Each statement can be interpreted as an expectation that the library can use to improve book club services.
The seventh question is, "Was correspondence from the library staff helpful? Too frequent or not frequent enough? Was there any information you would have like to have known about the library or book club that was not shared?" This is an open-ended, qualitative and quantitative question to assess the effectiveness and efficiencies of correspondence. When the library's book club staff leader retired the position was filled as a library correspondent. By evaluating this service for qualitative value the library will learn if the user's expectations were being met. By assessing for quantitative values, "too frequent or not frequent enough" the library will learn if the service was efficient.
The eighth question or section is, "Please rate (?) each question below on the quality of service." For this quantitative question a Likert scale will be made that scales the quality of the overall program, meeting space, access to books, library staff, and meeting times, on a scale of excellent, above average, average, below average, and poor. The library will learn at what level of quality certain aspects of the book club met the user's expectations. It cannot be ascertained why the rating was chosen. Although the rating may conclude what aspects of the service need improvement.
5.7 Provide strategies to maintain anonymity and confidentiality of users participating in your study (if appropriate).
The survey will be handed out to a group of book club members. Once the survey is given the researcher will leave the room and not return until after the book club meeting to gather the surveys. The researcher will know who received and did not receive an evaluation based on the sign in sheet for the meeting. Those that did not receive the survey at the meeting will be given the survey by mail or when they come to get the next book to read. Surveys that are retrieved before or after the meeting will be anonymously returned, without the knowledge of the researcher. The researcher will only know how many surveys were sent out and how many are left to be returned. Those surveyed are requested not to put their names on the survey. The questions will be left general so as to not risk the confidentiality of the users. Questions that give demographic information about the user are how long they have been a part of the book club, what is their primary residence, and are they a member of another book club and where. Questions such as, "Are you active in any other clubs, organizations, or groups sponsored by the Leesburg Public Library? Please share the name of each group below." Were deemed to be too personal and would reduce anonymity. Therefore is was struck from the original survey questions. The data compiled from the survey forms will be compiled into three different categories: all surveyed, control group (two years or less of book club use), and experimental group (three years or more of book club use).
5.8 Create a budget in terms of investment of resources (e.g., money, time, efforts, human input, etc.) to orchestrate user-centered assessment/evaluation of various kinds. Identify stages for orchestrating a plan for the PL (e.g., previous efforts made, current efforts, future efforts) and describe what will be feasible as part of your efforts in this course during this semester.
The implementation of the user-centered assessment will be of low cost to the library. Previous formal assessments have not been done. The library does evaluate programs and classes quantitatively by giving the users a small multiple choice survey card that asks how they found out about the program and rate the overall program on a scale of excellent, above average, average, below average, and poor. About a fourth of users will add additional qualitative information on the back of the cards. For the last four years the book club was informally evaluated qualitatively through observation and communication with users, and quantitatively through a sign in sheet of attendance (Adult Services Supervisor, personal communication, March 31, 2015).
The current proposed survey will formally evaluate quantitative and qualitative aspects of the LLLG book club. There are currently twenty-two registered book club members. Based on sign in sheets for the 2014-2015 meetings from September to March only eighteen of the twenty-two members are active participants. Inactive membership was deemed to be members who had participated less than three times out of nine meetings. Therefore, only eighteen black and white one sided paper surveys were created. The Leesburg Public Library charges users $.10 per black and white copy (Adult Services Supervisor, personal communication, March 31, 2015). The creation of the paper survey's cost a total of $1.80. The creation, distribution, collection, and analysis of the survey took approximately two hours. The hourly rate of the Adult Services Library Assistant, who is the library correspondent for the book club, is paid $11.08 an hour. Therefore, the time spent compiling of the survey was a total of $22.16. Effort is minimal and is limited to only the Adult Services Library Assistant (Adult Services Library Assistant, personal communication, March 31, 2015). The human input of majority of the book club members is needed in order to make the survey successful. The survey only takes five to ten minutes to answer depending on the time spent on the three open ended questions, and the analysis of how they felt about the quality of services. Human input to analyze the data will first be compiled by the Adult Services Library Assistant and reported on. Final analysis would be given by the Adult Service Supervisor to deem what steps should or could be taken to improve the book club services.
An annual survey of the book club services are being considered. The Adult Services Supervisor is aware of a need to improve services, and input from users (personal communication, March 31, 2015). The survey will assist in making improvements in book club services, by first learning what are the user's expectations. Once expectations are established case study analysis of other library book clubs in Lake County will provide examples of other methods used for book club services.
For this course the initial survey of users expectations will be conducted, and one case study of Marianne Beck Memorial Library book club services completed. An analysis of findings and considerations for ways of improvement will be provided to the Adult Services Supervisor. Finding and considerations will be discussed with the Adult Services Supervisor to deem what improvements could be implemented for the next book club season.
5.9 Determine the kinds of analysis you will do with the data collected. How do you plan to report the findings based on the data collected?
The data will be compiled onto one document. A secondary document will provide a descriptive analysis of the findings through percentages, interpretations, and suggested ways of improvement (Matthews, 2007, p.79). The original users answered surveys will also be given to the Adult Services Supervisor, so that she can make her own conclusions of the data.
Quantitative questions such as years of use, residency, quality of service, and how the user learned about the book club data will be converted into percentages of the whole data, visualized with pie charts (Matthews, 2007, p.86). The quality of service for the overall program, meeting space, access to books, library staff, and meeting times will also be visualized on a line graph. The line graph will show the rise and fall of the rated quality for each aspect of the book club (Matthews, 2007, p. 85). Qualitative questions such as atmosphere of the meetings, expectations, and helpfulness of correspondence will be represented as a comparison between the control group of users for two or less years, and experimental group of users three or more years.
Matthews, J.R. (2007). The Evaluation and Measurement of Library Services. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.
Contact K.C. Williams451 Communications Building, 1345 Circle Park Drive, Knoxville, TN 37996-0341