Instead of using expensive off-the-shelf surveys or relying on a poorly worded survey, read Making Surveys Work for Your Library and design your own that collect actionable data.
Library listservs and websites are littered with examples of surveys that are too long, freighted with complex language, and generally poorly designed. The survey, however, is a widely used tool that has great potential if designed well. Libraries can implement surveys for a variety of purposes, including planning, program evaluation, collection development, and space design.
Making Surveys Work for Your Library: Guidance, Instructions, and Examples offers librarians a contemporary and practical approach to creating surveys that answer authentic questions about library users. Miller and Hinnant have experience designing, deploying, and analyzing quantitative and qualitative data from large-scale, web-based user surveys of library patrons as well as smaller survey instruments targeted to special populations. Here, they offer library professionals a guide to developing—and examples of—concise surveys that gather the data they need to make evidence-based decisions, define the scope of future research, and understand their patrons.
• Create practical surveys you can use immediately in your professional work
• Design effective survey questions that will give you the information you need
• Develop a survey with a clear objective
• Model your surveys on sample surveys and questions
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About the Author
Robin Miller is associate professor and assessment and instruction librarian at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
Kate Hinnant is associate professor and head of instruction and communication at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.