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Programming counts question

Page history last edited by Kim Miller 9 years, 2 months ago

April 3, 2015




Scott Dermont (IA)


I have an interesting programming dilemma. We have a county where there are 6 public libraries. All 6 libraries receive funding from their county to provide programming. They usually have 4-6 programs a year. They are always at a non-library site, and they tend to move around the county. They all help plan and staff the programs. So, the dilemma is, how do we count this for survey purposes?  My initial response was that we don’t want them over counting. We don’t want 6 libraries all counting 4 programs a year, as that would be 24 programs a year, instead of 4. It would also cause problems with attendance. So, my solution was for one library to claim a program. But since they are all in attendance at each helping out, I thought they could divide the attendance equally. This would mean that there would be four libraries reporting one program a year, and 1/6 of the total attendance. Normally they are not each doing their own “station” at any of these joint programs. They are all in it together.


Does this make sense? What would be the alternative?


The other question that they had was if they could send volunteers to run their portion of the program. Sometimes these programs are during the day, and there is at least one, one-person library in the group. They want to be able to send a volunteer to represent them at the program. They still do all of the planning work for the program. I think that this should still count, but wanted to hear from your collective wisdom on this topic as well.


Thanks for the help, and have a great weekend!


SDC Comments


Kristen Stehel (UT)


Are you saying that the 6 public libraries are classified as city libraries? They don't all fall under a county-wide system that submits one county report?


Thanks for clarifying.


Scott Dermont (IA)


Yes, that is correct. We only have 3 county library systems in Iowa. The other 96 counties contract with the city public libraries in the county to provide services to rural residents. Each of the 6 libraries in this case are independent entities.



Jamie McCanless (WI)


I actually think each library should count all of the programs it co-sponsors. That’s the definition. If you divide the count, fewer than six programs would mean at least one library’s involvement is omitted. Even if each of six libraries reported one of six programs, their community involvement and services would be considerably underreported and not reflect the value or use of the county’s funding.


Yes, do divide attendance equally among all co-sponsoring libraries, and thoroughly annotate the data.


I do agree that it shouldn’t matter whether library staff or volunteers run part of a program. In fact, it shouldn’t matter whether any library staff or representatives are involved in running the program as long as the library was part of planning or otherwise sponsoring it.


My two cents on a Friday afternoon before a holiday weekend.


Scott Dermont (IA)


So in your model, I would get the results:


6 libraries provide 4 programs, with a total of 600 attendance.


Each library would report 4 programs and 100 attendance on their survey?


This would give a total of 24 programs and 600 attendance for those 4 programs. In the greater scheme of things, this isn’t a huge number, so it could be doable. Does this make sense to everyone?


Laura Stone (AZ)


If this were Facebook, I would “like” Jamie’s response.


Jamie McCanless (WI)


Yes, that’s what I’d do, noting with the number of programs that they were co-sponsored with other libraries in the county, and noting with the 1/6 total attendance that it’s the unduplicated attendance representing the library’s involvement in the co-sponsored program(s).


Scott Dermont (IA)


I like it a lot and I think my libraries will appreciate being able to get full “credit” for providing this great service. I think I just wanted to make sure that there wasn’t a problem with duplicating the program count.


Jamie McCanless (WI)


I think this may be something we encounter more as libraries pool resources. I certainly do a lot of un-duplicating of data here with our regional library systems. Reporting data at the administrative entity level has its pitfalls, but my hope is that the annotations help Census roll up data with less duplication.


Katrice Stewart (FL)


We face that similar situation a lot and handle it as Jamie suggested.  I “like” Laura’s “like” of Jamie’s comment :)


Happy Easter to all!




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