To collect your data, use our brief survey and count the number of community members who participate in your summer program. Our data collection methods ensure that the project can be implemented manageably by staff and that the project will generate valuable data.
Surveys are easy for staff to distribute, and counting is also simple. This data collection method is more like that of output measures, and CLA will collate your library’s results to help clearly show the impact of your library’s summer programs.
Survey Forms Available for Download
Guidelines for Issuing Surveys Successfully
- We have streamlined the outcomes evaluation process and offering just one survey to be completed by all age groups of summer program participants: early learners, children, teens and adults.
- The survey is available for download from our website and available electronically as a SurveyMonkey link, into which patrons, staff, and volunteers can enter responses.
- The survey includes a brief list of questions that have been designed to generate data that will demonstrate the value and impact of your summer program. You can use the results you receive to demonstrate that your patrons are learning from the activities offered and getting help from the library. You can also use responses you receive to individual questions to gather quantitative data about the value of your program, e.g., responses showing that your patrons enjoyed taking part in activities and look forward to visiting the library again.
- The survey is intentionally brief to keep all questions on one page and encourage patrons to respond to them. Libraries are welcome to add their own questions to the survey, but your questions should come after and should not replace the pre-prepared questions. We recommend keeping your surveys brief and to one page.
- If you hand out printed surveys, customize them with your library’s logo and local information so that they are legitimate to your patrons.
- Please feel free to collect your survey data however works best for you – either by using paper surveys or placing your survey online. However you collect your data, please remember to use the custom SurveyMonkey links to submit your results to the Summer @ Your Library project.
- Please remember that the survey has been designed to obtain feedback from the people (early learners, children, teens, or adults) who took part in the summer program. Here are some tips on getting feedback using the surveys:
- [For children] Parents may help younger children fill out the forms as long as they understand that the answers must be the child’s own responses.
- [If you are using paper surveys] Ask respondents to fill out the form and leave it in a designated spot before they leave the library.
- If possible, plan to collect at least 100 survey responses. The conventional wisdom in the data-gathering world is that 100 responses for a survey is the magic number for being able to assert that you have reliable results. This is true whether you are using a good sample or surveying the entire population. For the summer program surveys, you have two options.
- Ask each outlet to survey the first 100 children and/or teens who “complete” the program. This will give each library fairly reliable results about the participants in that outlet.
- OR If your jurisdictions and/or branches are small, aim for 100 responses to each survey from the library jurisdiction as a whole, with each outlet submitting a percentage of the surveys. For example, if two branches are participating, ask each to return 50 completed surveys to the coordinator. If ten branches are participating, ask each to return 10 completed surveys. In this case, the results will reflect responses for the entire system and will not give you reliable data about individual branches.
- You may always ADD to the desired number of responses and increase the reliability of the results. But you should not rely on the results from fewer than 100 responses.
- Use the custom SurveyMonkey links created for your library to submit survey results at the end of the summer to Summer @ Your Library project staff by the designated date.