A Survey of Wisconsin Library Data: A Big Picture Look at Library (and Community) Similarities and Differences Told Through Data

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Delivered by Bruce Smith, WiLS and Melissa McLimans, WiLS for WAPL 2019 on May 2nd in Rothschild, Wisconsin Every library and community across Wisconsin has a story and in the course of strategic planning, these stories emerge in the gathered data and information. In the last five years, WiLS has worked with nearly 30 libraries in the state developing their strategic plans. From this work, we have gathered results from library surveys, community conversations, demographic trends, annual DPI report data and more. In this session, they will take a big picture look at this data and information and share what they've learned about Wisconsin libraries and their communities. From library perception, to library usage, to community needs, they'll discuss how the issues and needs of libraries and communities match with each other and how they differ.
  • 1. D A T A , C O M M U N I T I E S , A N D L I B R A R I E S : L E A R N I N G T H R O U G H S T R A T E G I C P L A N N I N G P R O C E S S E S M E L I S S A M C L I M A N S ( M E L I S S A @ W I L S . O R G ) B R U C E S M I T H ( B S M I T H @ W I L S . O R G ) M A Y 2 , 2 0 1 9
  • 2. A L I T T L E A B O U T U S Our consulting services are tailored to our members’ needs and budgets and help turn ideas into action.
  • 3. W H A T T H E P L A N N I N G P R O C E S S L O O K S L I K E Information and Data Gathering (Demographics, library annual report data, library issues and needs) Community and Staff Assessment (Surveys, Conversations, and staff engagement) Data webinar to disseminate findings Facilitated planning meetings for foundational elements and the strategic plan Plan writing and editing Help with plan prioritization and implementation
  • 4. What We'll Cover Today I N T R O D U C T I O N S D A T A S O U R C E S B I G T H E M E S B I G Q U E S T I O N S
  • 5. New Data S T A F F , B O A R D , P L A N N I N G T E A M Q U E S T I O N N A I R E S S W O T / S O A R I N F O R M A T I O N S U R V E Y S C O M M U N I T Y C O N V E R S A T I O N D P I A N N U A L R E P O R T D A T A C O M M U N I T Y D E M O G R A P H I C S Existing Data
  • 6. Common Challenges and Aspirations Theme 1
  • 7. LIBRARIES: WHAT ARE YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGES? Funding/Budget Concerns (15/21) Space (13/21) Lack of community awareness / marketing (11/21) Reaching more users (10/21)
  • 8. Limited tax base / budget(14/21) Ability to attract businesses / vibrant downtown / city development (13/21) Shifting demographics / population changes (12/21) Divisions in the community(10/21) LIBRARIES: WHAT ARE YOUR COMMUNITIES' BIGGEST CHALLENGES?
  • 9. About the community: Community divisions - connections are needed (14/17) Changing demographics (10/17) Need for opportunities for teens (9/17) About the library: Lack of awareness of what the library does (14/17) Themes Identified by Community Members
  • 10. O N E F I N A L C O M M U N I T Y T H E M E
  • 11. Changing Numbers: Reactions & Results Theme 2
  • 12. D P I A N N U A L R E P O R T D A T A Population Served Revenue Expenditures Capacities & Assets Results
  • 13. G R O U P I N G L I B R A R I E S B Y S I Z E
  • 14. W E L C O M E T O W I S C O N S I N !
  • 15. REVENUE
  • 16. R E V E N U E C H A N G E S
  • 18. S A L A R Y & B E N E F I T E X P E N D I T U R E C H A N G E S
  • 19. C O L L E C T I O N S E X P E N D I T U R E C H A N G E S
  • 20. T O T A L E X P E N D I T U R E C H A N G E S
  • 22. RESULTS
  • 23. C I R C U L A T I O N
  • 24. V I S I T S & U S E R S
  • 25. P R O G R A M M I N G
  • 26. What's important to the user?
  • 27. WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES FOR THE COMMUNITY? They ... Are worried about the relevancy of the library in their community and the support of the library by local leadership Know there are people in their community the library isn't reaching Are at capacity and are burning out in some cases LOVE their jobs!!! WHAT DO THE STAFF THINK?
  • 28. The largest percentage growth in population has occurred in communities under 10,000 Overall, the increase in income is not keeping up with the increasing expenses, though, income for smaller communities has exceeded inflationary growth  Smaller communities have used the additional revenue to increase staff, but generally, the reaction to funding not keeping up with costs has been to reduce print purchases and converting FT benefitted positions to PT Circulation, visits, and cardholders have all declined and the response has been to increase programming, but library users indicate the collection is still #1 in importance The concerns of staff align with all of this Summary Narrative
  • 29. With these numbers, are we doing the right things that our community wants and needs isn't the only question we need to be asking ourselves, but more importantly, we also need to be asking... Who are we reaching and engaging, and who are we not reaching and engaging? ???
  • 30. Who we are reaching and who we are not Theme 3
  • 31. There is a lack of diversity and community representation in the planning process. Planning teams Survey responses Community conversation participation
  • 36. C O M M U N I T Y C O N V E R S A T I O N S A R E N O T M A D E U P O F T H E F U L L C O M M U N I T Y
  • 40. HOW CAN WE IMPROVE? Better surveys Better mapping Different methods for engagement
  • 41. Assessment  Service Prioritization Targeted Marketing Advocacy Staff Support Common Strategies for Libraries
  • 42. Are we using our resources in the best ways? If  we utilized them differently, might we better reach people we currently underserve? Could we increase awareness of what we are offering, and in turn support for libraries? What current and long-term impact might libraries be facing as a state if not only income growth doesn't match or exceed the growth in costs, but also if the income growth disparity continues between larger and smaller libraries? Big Questions
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