Wednesday, December 2, 2015

It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

December is a wonderful time to prepare for the public library annual report. As the fiscal year
Joyful winter dog
Oh joy! Annual report season is around the corner! (Pixabay)
wraps up, statistics and vital numbers collected over the past 12 months are compiled and solidified. As the new year unfolds, the previous year's numbers will be requested by the Division for Libraries and Technology.

As libraries anticipate the joyful season of entering annual statistics into LibPAS, preparations done now can help maximize your data experience. Specifically, the following suggestions are intended for library staff serving youth and the library directors who support them.

1. Have a conversation! Data collection doesn't happen in a vacuum, so make it a point to talk about how data is collected, recorded, and reported.  Make sure everyone is aware of important definitions (e.g. children are defined as ages 0-11) and how numbers are interpreted (e.g. attendance at a children's program includes all who attended, even if attendees are not children). If your record keeping has holes, consider starting the new year with a new plan.

2. Bookmark the annual report webpage: http://pld.dpi.wi.gov/pld_annrpt and become familiar with the resources and contact information listed.

3. Review the documents "Youth Services Definitions and Examples" and "A Closer Look at Literacy Offerings" both updated for the 2015 annual report.

4. View the Youth Services Online Training Module to test your knowledge about how to report the data you have collected during the past year. 

5. If all else fails, contact your system youth services consultant or liaison with your questions.  If they can't help you, contact Tessa or Jamie on the Public Library Development Team.

huskies pulling sled
Here's to supportive teamwork in the months ahead! (Pixabay)
Written by:
Tessa Michaelson Schmidt, Public Library Development Team