Directions for Ames Public Library Services Survey

 The purpose of this survey is to help develop a clear and detailed picture of current Ames Public Library services, programs, and activities. A record for each activity, based on data submitted on the Services Survey, will be entered in a database that will serve as a baseline for evaluating existing services and resources and considering changes or new initiatives. Managers will initially enter data in a separate survey form for each activity, and I will work one-on-one with managers to clarify and extend the details. We will update and expand the data on the activities as the planning process proceeds; this is a work in progress. I encourage your thoughts on what data to include and how to organize the database and reports.

Service, program, activity
Fill out a separate form for any and all of the services, programs, and activities that you manage. Include both direct public services and support services and activities. Some questions to ask if you are uncertain if an activity should be included: Is staff or volunteer time devoted to this activity? Is money expended? Is it referenced in policies, procedures, or guidelines? Do customers and/or staff mention it? Is it included in staff action plans? Is it discussed at staff or board meetings? These are all indicators of activities that should be included.

It’s okay to enter more than one audience, but only enter an audience that is intentionally and directly targeted. For example, scouts are tweens and teens, but do not include Scouting programs as an audience simply because scouts are among those teens and tweens served. However, a specific outreach effort to encourage scouts to work with the library in community service projects would qualify as a separate program for an audience of scouts. If an audience is not listed here, enter “other” and describe the audience members. Be as specific as necessary to adequately identify the audience: if a service for businesses is targeted to any size business, use “business”; if it’s targeted to small businesses, use “small businesses.”

Library Customers
All library customers (usually in regard to support services and activities), regular visitors/borrowers, infrequent visitors/borrowers, rural residents, ethnic residents, adults, new adults, children, pre-school children, infants, teens, tweens, seniors, single parents, working parents, home school parents, child care providers, adult care providers, teachers, college students, researchers

Community Customers
Government/political: Mayor, council, city/county manager, county supervisors, city/county fiscal and planning offices, law enforcement , city/county department heads, city/county employees
Businesses/chambers of commerce/economic development organizations: Major employers, small business owners, visitors’ centers, chambers of commerce, economic development councils, farmers/agricultural businesses
Community service organizations: Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis, United Way, AARP, AAUW, League of Women Voters, Red Cross, literacy organizations, YWCA, YMCA
Cultural groups: Theater groups, art leagues, dance supporters, art commission
Educational organizations: K-12 schools, colleges/universities, PTA/PTO, school boards, home school groups
Ethnic organizations: Ethnic chambers of commerce, NAACP, tribal councils, Latino/Hispanic groups, Asian groups, Urban League, refugee associations
Family service organizations: County department of social services, family service agency, child abuse agencies
Financial representatives: Banks, credit unions, financial planners, stockbrokers
Health organizations: American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, hospitals, public health nurses, public health clinics
Legal organizations: Legal Aid, ACLU
Libraries: School librarians, academic librarians, special librarians
Media: Newspaper, radio, TV, ethnic media, local magazines and newsletters
Organizations serving persons with disabilities: Center on Deafness, Council of the Blind, Easter Seal, Goodwill, independent living centers, United Cerebral Palsy
Professional groups: Medical associations, board of realtors, bar association, business and professional women’s groups
Religious groups: Ministerial alliance, youth groups, Jewish Community Center, Salvation Army
Senior centers/service organizations: Area agency on aging, senior centers, congregate meals, nursing homes
Youth services organizations: Big Brother/Sister, Scouts, FFA, FHA, 4H, city/county recreation programs, Junior Achievement, Head Start, Even Start, child care associations, Association for the Education of Young Children, school-age care and enrichment programs

Annual staff hours
Estimate the annual staff hours involved in both supervising and delivering the service, program, or activity. Break out the estimate as appropriate to give a feel for primary tasks. Include volunteer hours, but enter them separately.

Annual budget
Estimate the amount of money devoted to the service, program, or activity. Subdivide the estimate as appropriate to demonstrate the contours of the activity.

The person directly responsible for the implementation of the service, program, or activity.

Work group
The work group responsible for the service, program, or activity.

Outline the purpose, goals, and components of the service, program, or activity, including how it fits into the broader objectives and goals of the library. Note core activities and practices that are essential to carry out the activity. Indicate here any sub-audiences that are characteristic of a particular activity: international families participating in children’s programs, for example.

[Performance measures: A performance measure is a tool to indicate how successfully a library achieves its goals. The statement of a measure contains three elements: the indicator, a standard against which to compare that indicator, and a date or time frame by which the standard should be met. Measures should focus on patron behaviors, not library activities directly. Performance measures are commonly divided into output and outcome measures.]

Output measures
List and describe any output measures that are in place to evaluate the effectiveness of the service, program, or activity, and provide data for the previous three years. Output measures are used to evaluate the productivity of an activity. In public libraries, output measures are generally expressed as 1) the number of individuals served (attendees at a program), or 2) the number of units of service provided (circulation counts). Most of the standard measures reported by libraries are output measures.

Outcome measures
List and describe any outcome measures that are in place to evaluate the effectiveness of the service, program, or activity, and provide data for the previous three years. Outcome measures describe the difference that an activity makes in the lives of the people served. An example of an outcome measure would be a pre-test, post-test of participants in a computer training class to determine how much they have learned. Outcome measures are generally preferred in organizational performance measurement, but they are difficult to implement on a wide scale because they typically involve a direct survey of customer experiences and attitudes.