The new Project Outcome Follow-Up Surveys require more staff time than the original, Immediate Surveys. How should libraries plan for this extra staff time? How do we prepare our staff for following up with patrons?
This is a great question! Doing a Communications Plan may help you create a reasonable schedule for adding this to the workload of programming and coordinator positions. In Sno-Isle Libraries we chose to do our follow-up surveying via email and this added the following activities to local or hosting programming staff:
- Introducing a sign-in sheet to collect email addresses from attendees for follow-up.
- Announcing our purpose and intent for follow-up to give attendees context.
- Being prepared to answer questions about privacy, etc. from attendees.
- Scanning and submitting sign-in sheet to data coordinator.
- Composing email from copy & paste script to email list of attendees with personal signature.
While we didn’t log time, we did collect estimates and all of these activities totalled less than 30 additional minutes per program the first time. With additional experience, we anticipate it will take less and less time, but probably a minimum of 15 minutes per program in this model.
Our Lead Librarians identified programs in our community libraries and worked with local staff to ensure that they were comfortable surveying and had the capacity to add this workload. These activities took less than 90 minutes in total.
As pilot coordinator, I communicated with leads, sent info to community library contacts (scripts information, sign-in sheets, sample surveys, etc.), and distributed survey results and analysis. This was the significant additional workload and I estimate probably took about 10 hours in total. We surveyed 7 programs during our pilot. This initial time investment will cost less per program surveyed as we do more follow-up surveying now that the necessary scripts, email templates, and process are in place.
This response may raise more questions than it answers! Please feel free to ask more and share your own ways to plan for additional time commitments to outcomes surveying!