Sunday, May 4, 2014

From the mouths of babes

I am a sucker for surveys.  I want to know what's on people's minds, especially those in my learning community.  Thanks to our district going all Google on us, making Google forms to elicit info from my patrons is easy-peasy.  I sent out a mid-year survey to my teachers to find out how their library experience was going for them (pretty well, then, whew!).  I have another survey for them ready to go, but will wait until after the inventory process before I send that one out.  

My latest survey is for the students.  After reassuring them that their answers were completely confidential, noted only by grade level, I directed them to our computer bank in the library to let me know their likes, dislikes, and suggestions for improvements to our program.  I am learning a lot from their answers--and surprised by how much their suggestions and my plans for improving the library program overlap.

Suggestion:  Show us where the scary books are, funny books are, etc.
Plan:  Highlighting a different genre each month

Suggestion:  Help students edit their writing and publish them for library use
Plan:  A section devoted to student writing

Suggestion:  The library doesn't have enough books; I'm reading the same ones over and over.
Plan:  Issue a genre-exploration challenge for those who are hesitant to expand their reading repertoire.

They shared a lot more--another surprise was how many chose to fill in the non-required open-ended questions.  Yes, I got the occasional response with "fart" in it...but the wealth of information I gleaned to tailor the library program for my primary patrons, the students, has given me a sense of direction and a lengthy to-do list to start planning for next year.

P.S.  I discovered a new-to-me tool in the options of the spreadsheet that the survey results dump into on my Google drive.  Under "Form", there is a  "Show summary of responses" option--and it generates pie charts and graphs of the form responses in bright colors, as well as prints out all the open-ended responses.  Great data to share with my administrators and staff! 

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