Exploring Public Libraries Survey Data for Peer Comparisons
Using library data to benchmark your library to its peers is easier than you think! This 90-minute session will provide hands-on guidance on how to access federal data tools and use guided templates to help organize data for planning and assessment.
We will show you how to access and analyze freely available data on your library, your library peers, and your community using Public Libraries Survey (PLS) data and the Library Search and Compare tool and point to other resources such as the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey tool to complement and contextualize the library data that you find. You will dive into these data resources by working with a scenario based on your own library or a library that is familiar to you.
In this session, you will:
- Identify your library peers across a range of key metrics from the PLS using the Library Search and Compare Tool.
- Identify your library’s context and community’s needs using other PLS analysis and Census data.
- Practice critical thinking as you analyze library data.
Because this session will involve hands on-work with the Library Search and Compare Tool and other resources, we recommend bringing a laptop or tablet. We will have a limited number of laptops available for those participants who aren’t able to bring a device.