RIPL Community of Practice

Full Version: Evaluation Projects
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Project description: The children's department in the Waukegan Library would like to encourage lifelong learning at the library.  

Question/problem statement: How do we create guidelines that will help us develop programs that ensure we are reinforcing the same learning elements for each age group in a way that the children will find engaging and parents will find valuable?


Statement: We will have shared goals that will help up focus on providing the best services for our community.
Project description
The supporting library specialist team at Arapahoe Libraries would like to evaluate staffing levels for our team and determine the best method for scheduling on-call support each day for all of our libraries. Our team works prescheduled and on-call shifts at each library to cover scheduling needs due to vacancies, vacations, and sick employees.

Question/problem statement
Should we convert from one on-call person a day to 2 per day with one working in the morning and one working in the evening? Will our current staffing capacity support this change and will it significantly reduce the number of prescheduled shifts that we can fill?

Statement of why
-Reduce high turnover rates and burnout due to unpredictable nature of on-call shifts
-Potentially double the amount of last minute, critical staffing requests that we can cover
Project Description: The Chapel Hill Public Library has a complicated system for communicating with our users about their accounts (e.g. holds, overdues, bills). This system involves a hodgepodge of automated notices, print notices and phone calls, and relies on rotating members of staff remembering to complete daily notifications. 
 
We have been experimenting with automating this system, but these experiments have been piecemeal. We would like to evaluate all parts of our accounts communication process using a whole systems approach. Our goal is to develop a library accounts communication plan aligned with the library values of hospitality and stewardship. This system should...
  • anticipate user needs
  • prompt appropriate user action
  • be simple (for user and for staff) to use
  • be transparent and clear for users
  • be flexible & adaptable (platform & format agnostic)
 
Question/Problem Statement: Why, how, and when should the library communicate with our users about their accounts? 
 
Statement of Why: Answering this question will allow the library to design a communication plan that is useful, usable, and desirable for both our users and staff members.
1.  In our rapidly growing county, we need to know whether our library system’s future includes additional full-service branches, service outlets, mobile libraries, or automated 24/7 branches. We need to know what types of library services residents value most and where they need to be located.
2.  Which geographic areas of Cherokee County are underserved by the library, where are new service points needed, and what types of library services are most valued in each community?
3. We need this answer to help us prepare a Facilities Plan, or Capital Improvement Plan, to guide the growth of library facilities is our system. We want to make decisions based on real data, and not just guesswork.
Project Description: Eliminate fines/fees for children's materials
Question/Problem Statement: Fines can be a barrier to using library services, but will the Board of Trustees approve eliminating this "revenue line"
Statement of Why: Hoping to gather appropriate data to illustrate to the Board that removing such barriers to service outweighs the budgetary impact of collecting children's fines
Project Description:
I want to examine my favorite program that I lead which is called “Mobile Devices.”
Question/Problem Statement:
The question is, is this program actually effective and is it the best way to do it. How do we determine if it is effective?
Statement of Why:
We need to evaluate our programs to ensure that we are meeting the needs of our community. 
We need to establish benchmarks and goals for programs and plans for what to do when we meet those goals and when we do not. 
By examining our programming the library will be better equipped to provide programming that is maximizing the time and effort of our staff. 
By examining this one program we are hoping to use the same method to examine all of our programmings.
Project Description:
 
Each branch library conducts an hour-long program for children who have not yet begun to attend school.  We call it Ready to READ hour.  We read to the children, we sign songs, we have an activity and/or craft and we let the children interact with each other in order for them to be ready to start school (pre-K or K) with important skills already learned.  What skills?  Knowledge of their colors, numbers 1-10, sitting still, critical thinking…
We would especially like to establish a love of reading EARLY in the life of a child.  Especially to children who are at risk for not being on grade level reading by 3rd Grade.
 
 
Question/Problem Statement:
What is the question that needs to be answered or the problem that needs be solved?
Are our attempts effective?   Are the children who attend are programs regularly ready for Pre-K or K.  Did their parents or caregivers feel our programs were “value-added” and added to their child’s school readiness above or complimentary to what they were receiving at home?  Were we reaching the intended audience?  Or are our attendees children who already are being taught at home and have the love of reading instilled in them?
 
 
Statement of Why:
Why does the library need this answer/solution? What will the library be able to do after it has this answer/solution?
We have limited resources (staff,  money, time) to invest.  We need to focus on what will give us the biggest bang for our buck.
If we find we are not reaching our target audience then we can hopefully leverage our efforts with other agencies who have a like mission.  We can revamp our content and method.  We can fine tune our program times and market it in the right places.
 
Project Description:  Evaluate ways to connect community digital skills gaps with effective learning opportunities on an as-needed, individualized basis. Learn how to increase awareness and use of library’s digital resources and one-to-one learning opportunities. Consider starting "Library Learning a la Carte" promotional campaign.
 
Question/Problem Statement: Every day we see community members struggle with online job applications, setting up email accounts, and writing resumes. Staff assist in the moment as opportunities allow, but computer station assistance disrupts other patrons, and is a privacy risk for those we assist. 
 
We offer a wide variety of entertaining and educational digital resources, yet use is often sporadic, and low at best. 
 
How should we inform the community of all that we offer, including staff as a resource? What staffing adjustments need to be made to accomplish this task, while still providing full coverage at front desk?

Statement of Why: Job seekers are required to submit resumes and apply online for jobs, yet many lack the basic digital skills required to successfully land an interview. We need to inform the community of all that we offer, including the availability of staff as a resource. We need to increase use of online digital resources. We need to provide assistance in a less disruptive manner, protecting the privacy of those we serve.
Project Description:
Brooklyn Public Library wants to streamline and improve our external partnerships, particularly when it comes to public programs and community room use.

Question/Problem Statement:
How can we make it easier for the library to partner with outside organizations and share information on those partners across all BPL departments and locations?

Statement of Why:
Making it easier to start and manage external partnerships will save staff time and effort, strengthen connections to our communities, and increase the library's capacity to deliver a wide range of public programs.
Project Description:
Two years ago, we extended our weekend hours to be open later on Saturday and Sunday, and open earlier on Sunday. We have received feedback from staff and customers that the library does not see a lot of usage during the extended hours, and they wonder if it is worth the cost. This has been enough of a concern to make it into our strategic plan. Since they have been in place for 2 years now, I would like to re-evaluate the effectiveness of the hours we added, plus our normal weekly hours. 
 
Question/Problem Statement:
What is the question that needs to be answered or the problem that needs be solved?
Are the operating hours of the library most beneficial to the customer and justifiable to the taxpayer?
  
Statement of Why:
Why does the library need this answer/solution? What will the library be able to do after it has this answer/solution?
The library needs this answer to be able to optimize the operating hours of the library and have data to back up whatever decision is made.
Once we have this solution, we will be able to adjust the operating hours or be able to explain to the taxpayer why the amount of open hours is appropriate for our community.
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