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  • Do people in your community think they are getting a good deal from their library—or a raw deal?
  • Does your city have a Cadillac fire department and a Yugo library? Is that how they want it to be?
  • Are you a leader, a lagger, or in the middle of the pack when it comes to providing services to your community?
  • Do you have the "big picture" about your own library—or is it too hard to pull together all the data you need?
  • Do you know how to make your library story come alive, turning numbers into tables, charts and graphs that hold the attention of busy, distracted decision-makers?

If you need to "tell your story" to the community you serve, local decision-makers, grant funders, or those who hold the purse strings and you want to do it in a way that is fast, cheap, convenient, and effective, then this workshop is for you.

Workshop Description: This all-day workshop will provide you with the information you need to use Bibliostat Connect to find, analyze and present information about your library and to compare your library to others—in your system, geographic region, state or nation. You will learn what Connect has to offer (databases and analytical and presentation tools) and how to use it so that you can produce reports, tables, charts and graphs quickly and easily. You will have hands-on practice time to create reports about your own library and you'll learn how other libraries have used this versatile tool to increase their own knowledge and to persuade their decision-makers to make appropriate, data-driven decisions.

Pre-workshop assignment: The California State Library has purchased access to Bibliostat Connect for every public library in the state. This product is web-based and a login and password is necessary to use it. This information has been sent to every public library director with the Collect survey instrument instructions. The login and password are the same for both products. Please login and play with Connect once or twice before the workshop, to familiarize yourself with the product and so that any questions that arise can be answered when we meet together. If you've done something with it you'd like to share, bring your file on a floppy disk.

Preliminary Course Outline:

  • What Bibliostat Connect is
    • Powerful web-based program
    • Several databases of statistics
    • Tools to analyze and present the statistics
  • What You Can Do With It
    • Tell your library's story by comparing yourself with others
    • Better understand your own library's services, productivity, and trends
    • Use benchmark analysis (averages and rankings) to find out where you rank
    • Present information in tables or graphs
    • Copy or export information to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or other programs
  • How It Works
    • Logging on
    • Page layout and navigational tools
    • Three ways to make comparisons
    • Presenting the data in tables or graphs
    • Printing or saving your information
  • Telling Your Story Effectively
    • Tips on choosing comparable libraries
    • Tips on choosing data elements
    • Tips on presenting the data
    • Tips on linking this data with other data you might have - making your presentation multi-dimensional

Workshop Instructor: Jeanne Goodrich