Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Drop-in Activities Are Gonna Be Reportable Stats!

Our guest blogger today is Tessa Michaelson Schmidt. She has some great news for those of us who have been doing "drop-in activities" (think DIY; passive and stealth programs like 1000 books). Soon we will be able to report the exciting statistics on visits generated by these amazing efforts!!! Take it way, Tessa:
I want to alert you to a new question in the youth services section on the state annual library report.  Your library will have the opportunity to report the number of Drop-In Activities offered for children and young adults and the participant attendance for Drop-In Activities.  This category is in addition to traditional programming and summer programming report categories.

Here is the rough description of Drop-In Activities:

A Drop-In Activity is a planned, independent activity available for a definite time period which introduces individuals participating to any of the broad range of library services or activities which directly provides information to participants.  Activities differentiate from programs in that activities are unstructured and depend on the participation of the attendee to create the experience, rather than a structured presentation offered by librarian to a group at a set time.  Examples of these types of passive activities include DIY station, 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten, and Frequent Reader Club. This does not include informal services such as homework help.  Count all activities, whether held on- or off-site, that are sponsored or co-sponsored by the library. Exclude activities sponsored by other groups that use library facilities.

Since 2012 will be the first year the Drop-In Activities category will be on the annual report, it is understandable if libraries have not collected data from January-December 2012.  The inclusion of this new category does not mean that Drop-In Activities are a required form of programming.  Some libraries offer Drop-In Activities, some do not, and some might consider it.   Regardless, this new category offer us all the opportunity to measure it. 

Please take this message as an opportunity to speak with your library director about youth services annual report categories and data collection in advance of the March 1, 2013 report deadline. 

Tessa Michaelson Schmidt
Youth and Special Services Consultant
Wisconsin DPI, Public Library Development
125 South Webster Street, PO Box 7841
Madison, WI 53707-7841

P: (608) 267-5077
F: (608) 267-9207

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