Gathering and Using Community Data: Making the Best Decisions for Your Library
Decisions about library programs and services are typically made by library staff, using anecdotal experience as a guide to understanding community wants and needs. This workshop will you how you can gather data about their community to assess your patrons’ needs and desires and then use it to help guide library services. You’ll learn to combine staff expertise with concrete community data so your library can make decisions with a broader base of knowledge.
The instructors will use their experience as the highly-regarded Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library as an illustration of how other libraries can do this without the need to hire an external company. They’ll highlight sources of community data that are likely to already exist and ways that such data can be gathered by library staff.
- How to find the free sources of data in your community
- How to gather data without spending money
- Putting your data into action: big challenges and small challenges
About the Instructor(s)
Marie Pyko, Public Services director, Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library oversees the long range plans for service planning and deployment for adults, youth and outreach services to older adults. She has a Masters of Library Science from Emporia State University, Emporia KS and a Bachelor’s of Arts from Wayne State University, Detroit MI and was a Library Journal Mover and Shaker in 2012.
Thad Hartman, Community and Strategic Services manager, Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library oversees strategic planning and process improvement initiatives, and library community services including Bookmobiles, Library @ Work, and the partnership between TSCPL and the Shawnee County Parks and Recreation Department. He has a Masters of Library Science from Emporia State University, Emporia KS and a Bachelor’s of Arts from Washburn University, Topeka KS.