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Creating Successful Adult Programs

  1. CREATING SUCCESSFUL ADULT PROGRAMS Brett W. Lear Wednesday, February 12, 2014
  2. Welcome! Brett W. Lear Library Director Martin County (FL) Library System 772 221-1410
  3. • Creating goals for event Agenda planning that link your events to the needs of your community • Developing outcome measures to ensure that your events are a good fit for your community • Sharing your successes with elected officials, residents, and other stakeholders
  4. Vision, Mission, and Priorities
  5. Adult Events: Essential Library Services? ―Programming is a process by which the informational, educational, and recreational needs of your patrons are met by bringing patrons into contact with the human resources best able to meet those needs.‖ from Adult Programs in the Library
  6. Our vision is to inform and inspire every resident in Martin County. • Our mission is to connect with people and create learning opportunities that improve communities.
  7. Facilitate lifelong learning The Library serves a leading role in the community as both a source of information and a place of learning. The need for learning begins at birth and the pursuit of knowledge continues throughout life. from Martin County (FL) Library System’s Long Range Services Plan
  8. Goal 1: Establish the Library as the first source for practical information on common life experiences and challenges such as parenting, education, health, financial stability, and aging. Objectives: 1. Conduct a community scan to determine what knowledge, skills, and abilities our residents want to attain. 2. Provide educational workshops, information, and materials that help our residents increase their knowledge and improve their skills in identified areas. 3. Develop an annual, system-wide calendar of events that emphasizes lifelong learning opportunities. 4. Seek partners and identify funders that support lifelong learning initiatives.
  9. What are your goals?
  10. What types of events? • Participatory or passive? • Entertainment or educational? • Strive for community engagement? • What works in your community?
  11. Making, creating, volunteering Library Laboratory was a series of art, technology, and engineering workshops for adults. Offered in collaboration with the Science Museum of Minnesota’s Learning Technologies Center the workshops included Misfit Toys for Adults (deconstructing and rebuilding unwanted and noisy moving toys), Sensitive Machines (building a machine that responds to light and sound sensors), Glowing Clothing (LED embedded clothing and shoes), Shadow Puppet Animation (created with stop motion animation), and Folded Structures (re-creating crystal or sea shell structures that are sometimes used by architects). "Interactive Programs at Hennepin County Library,"Johannah Genett, Programming Librarian, January 17, 2012.
  12. Read and discuss Life Is So Good by George Dawson and Richard Glaubman. Dawson, a black manual laborer who learned to read at age 98, wrote a memoir that is essential to an accurate understanding of this century. The product of a collaboration between Dawson and high school history teacher Glaubman, the book juxtaposes significant events of the century with Dawson's personal experiences. Engage in a service project at The Title Wave Used Bookstore. Hear a short presentation about the library's adult literacy programs, then help prepare retired library materials to be sold at the bookstore. Volunteers will stamp, sort and shelve books, CDs, DVDs and other library material. -- Multnomah County (OR) Library
  13. Homeschool Fair
  14. A hogbutchering demonstration at the Overland Park, Kan., library in November. John Helling/Johnson County Library
  15. Passive events & DIY Photo by David Woolley, Director, Manitou Springs Seed Library Photo by Ruth Crocker, Marketing Coordinator at St. Thomas Public Library, Ontario
  16. WHAT’S WORKED WELL FOR YOU? (Time to brag!)
  17. What events are right for your community? Scanning the community Engaging with residents
  18. Why do people attend my library’s events? How can I learn more about the values, habits, and lifestyles of my community members?
  19. Where to start? • Scan past event evaluation forms • Look for recent patron surveys • Check state and national library data • Statistical Report from the Public Library Data Service ( • The Public Libraries Survey ( ey.aspx)
  20. Where else to explore? • Work with your partners— schools, chambers of commerce, newspapers, a nd mission-driven organizations • Search for surveys conducted by nearby libraries and national associations • Programs for Adults in Public Library Outlets and Cultural Programs for Adults in Public Libraries: A Survey Report
  21. Partners
  22. Online tools • Demographic data • American Factfinder ( • ERsys ( • Subscription services with demographic information and consumer data • DemographicsNow ( • CIVICTechnologies ( • SImplyMap by Geographic Research, Inc. (
  23. Blue Sky Boomers The largest cluster contains lower-middle and middle class households from the baby-boom generation. This group, aged 50-65, makes up 31.3% of households in the County. They live casually and comfortably as price sensitive, outdoorsy, empty nesters. Spending their free time fishing, boating, and gardening, or watching television, reading books, newspapers, or magazines, these Boomers tend to view their entire world as a grand library. Whether via a personal connection, news article, website, or billboard, these individuals seek information that can improve their lives as well as the lives of their friends and family.
  24. Develop a community profile You can develop a profile of your community using the following questions as guidelines. Include any additional information you think is pertinent. • • • • • • • • • • What are the major businesses or industries? What dominant groups make the population? What are the ages and characteristics of the population? What leisure time activities are available? What is the general education level of the population? What economic, social, or political trends are presently affecting people in your town? What is the town's relation to other communities in the state? What is the historical background? What are the present economic conditions? What are the major cultural and religious influences? Source: Peggy O'Donnell and Patsy Read, Planning Library Programs (Chicago: Public Library Association, 1979), 12.
  25. How to engage with your residents? • Design and conduct surveys. • Talk to people entering and exiting events. • ―What did you think?‖ • ―What would you like to see next?‖ • Host community conversations about the library. • ―Coffee with the Director‖ • Invite community leaders into library to talk with staff about their neighborhoods, associations, and cultures.
  26. Conduct a survey Programming Survey If we were to begin offering adult programs, which type of program would you be most likely to attend? Please select one of the following: A monthly book discussion group A film series covering a theme, such as ―Great Silent Classics‖ or ―Film Noir‖ A ―how to‖ program, such as ―How to Select a Home Computer‖ or ―How to Travel Cheap in Europe‖ A speaker sharing his or her knowledge with the audience; for example, a Holocaust survivor recounting her experiences at Auschwitz Workshops or classes that explain how to use library resources, such as the Internet and downloadable ebooks I do not have an interest in attending library programs for adults Comments:
  27. Postcard survey
  28. Online survey
  29. Getting to know your community • Tools? • Conversations? • Other approaches?
  30. Measuring the value of your events • Outcome and output measures: • verify that your events are successful • increase the likelihood of generating grant or private funding for future events
  31. Outcomes
  32. The Free Library of Philadelphia will lead the City to economic recovery and ongoing prosperity … and be recognized for it.
  33. Libraries connect people to jobs and careers, serving as the vehicle for 979 Philadelphians finding jobs, resulting in $30 million in wages in one year and generating $1.2 million annually in city wage tax. Libraries grow businesses, with 8,630 businesses starting or improving because of help received at the Free Library. Libraries enrich neighborhoods, creating $698 million in home values and generating $18.5 million annually in property tax revenue for the city. 979 Philadelphians found jobs directly as a result of the resources provided by the Library. 979 entry-level jobs translate into $30.4 million in wages income in one year, generating $1.2 million in wage tax revenue for the city. 8,630 businesses started or grew directly as a result of services provided by the Free Library.
  34. Economic value of workforce development The economic value of the Library services that help Philadelphians locate job opportunities and develop career skills totals $6 million for FY10, comprised of: • $2.2 million in career development book-reading & lending • $2.1 million in job-finding online activities, including workforce database usage and online job searching/prep • $1.7 million job-readiness and workforce-related programming
  35. Outcome: Based on the Martin County Library System’s annual survey, 75% of the respondents will indicate that the Library’s cultural events improve the quality of life in Martin County. Outcome: Based on the Martin County Library System’s annual survey, 75% of the respondents will indicate that the Library plays an essential role in achieving their personal goals. Outcome: Based on the Martin County Library System’s annual survey, 75% of the respondents will indicate that the Library improves the economic well being of Martin County. Output: 50% of our adult events and classes will focus on assisting adults with improving their literacy skills, meeting their personal goals, and fulfilling their responsibilities as parents, students, citizens, and workers.
  36. Return on Investment
  37. How to gather data & generate outcomes? • Evaluation forms • Comment cards • Comparative and relational stats • Surveys • Follow-up
  38. Audience Evaluation
  39. Ask the right questions • Do you feel more connected to your community as a result of attending Library events? • Since attending family reading time, are you reading more with your child? • The Library's cultural events improve the quality of life in Martin County. --Agree –Disagree
  40. SurveyMonkey Community value
  41. Follow up • Phone, email, SurveyMonkey, or an event management tool (by Plymouth Rocket, Evanced Solutions, etc.) • Since attending the library workshop on... • Did you receive your GED? • Have you passed your citizenship test? • Have you found employment?
  42. Impact Survey ( U.S. IMPACT Studies: Web Survey Results: Seattle Public Library February, 2010
  43. Outcomes & community impact Berkeley Public Library: Survey Results: July, 2012
  44. Comparative & relational stats Civility training for Road rage down by 874 40% residents
  45. Telling your story
  46. Return on Investment • Deborah Lopez, Indiantown mother • $1,298 in library services • Katie Fischer, Stuart mother • $816 in library services
  47. But numbers don’t tell the whole story Iliana’s story
  48. Tristan: Perfect score on Florida's Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT)! His mother attributes his academic success to library events and classes that have inspired him to read more
  49. Stories of Impact "The Library is much more than a repository for books, it’s a center for life-long education, shared enrichment and cultural experiences and information that is often necessary to me and others. It’s simply a place where I can give back to my community and us young ones can come together and create a shared sense of community." --Gregory Lucenay, Hartford Public Library Volunteer
  50. Post-event press releases
  51. WHAT’S YOUR STORY OF IMPACT? (Please share.)
  52. Questions and conversation
  53. Thank you! Brett W. Lear Library Director Martin County (FL) Library System 772 221-1410