Breakout: Don’t Assume—Ask! Conducting Interviews and Focus Groups with Your Community
Interviews and focus groups (also known as group interviews or listening sessions) are a great way for libraries to gain a deeper understanding of their patrons’ needs. In this session, we will focus on what interviews and focus groups are (and when to employ them), how to decide what questions to ask, and how to conduct them. We will touch briefly on thematic coding at the end of the session but will spend most of our time on how to collect high quality data using these approaches. This hands-on session will include opportunities to develop your own interview or focus group questions and to practice conducting interviews. By the end of this session, you will be able to craft clear questions; know how to recruit participants and collect interview or focus group data; and have a cursory understanding of thematic coding.