Using Your Library’s Data



Libraries collect a lot of data — circulation, program attendance, user satisfaction, etc. — but often don’t know how to use the numbers.

On September 20-21, the Wyoming State Library conducted a data evaluation workshop in Riverton. Organized by WSL Research & Statistics Librarian Thomas Ivie, the workshop was an abbreviated local version of national Research Institute for Public Libraries (RIPL).

Linda Hofschire, Director of Colorado’s Library Research Service, presented the workshop where participants learned how to go beyond simply collecting and reporting on these numbers. Through a series of interactive exercises, they discovered how to conduct meaningful evaluations of their library’s services, programs, and resources, and how to use the results to have better informed planning and management, as well as to tell a compelling story about their library to stakeholders.

Participants, overall, were pleased with the workshop:

  • “This was a wonderful experience! I never expected to learn so much in such a short period of time.”
  • “Really learned some ideas I want to put into practice in our library!”
  • “Seriously best class/conf I have been to in a long time.”

Twelve of the 23 county public library systems sent participants to the workshop. WSL participants were School Library Consultant, Paige Bredenkamp, and Library Development Manager, Brian Greene.

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