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Annual Reports 2021: 3 Programs

Part 3: Library Programs, Policies, & Services

This section is all about the library's Programs, Policies, and Services. The programming questions do require some calculations and organization of data. Pay attention to the grouping of the questions and answer questions based on the grouping or sub-heading. For instance, 'Summer Reading Program' or 'Early Literacy Program'.


  • 3.1: Library Visits and Curbside: DLD has advised not to use curbside visits as actual library visits. 
  • Self-Directed, Take & Make, Passive Programming - These activities may be reported Q.3.22 One-on-One Program Sessions with a note added to explain the increase. If you did 35 Take & Make kits, you would count 35 One on One sessions and 35 participants.


There are changes to Part 3: Programs of the Annual Report. We do not have an example of the Annual Report which shows how this will reflect numbering. Regarding those changes:

Libraries are not required or expected to report this data in 2021 but the questions will appear on the 2021 annual report.  If libraries are already collecting this data, they will have the opportunity to report that in the 2021 Annual Report. 

Programs – New Wording

Programs happening live (in-person programs and some virtual programs) are now referred to as Synchronous Program Sessions. Since the definition of a library program already included all in-person programs and live virtual programs, this revision does not change the method in which the data was previously collected.


VIRTUAL Programs and Pre-recorded Program Sessions – Virtual

Virtual programming will be counted completely separate. There will be four virtual program categories beginning in the 2021 annual report:

  • Synchronous Virtual Program Sessions (live streaming)
  • Synchronous Virtual Program Attendance
  • Asynchronous Virtual Program Sessions (pre-recorded, not live)
  • Asynchronous Virtual Program Views in First 7 Days After Posting 

Synchronous program sessions are live - can be attended live whether in person or live streamed, and the presenter is interacting with the audience in real-time.

Asynchronous program sessions are pre-recordedThe presenter is unable to interact with the audience in real-time. Additionally, include recordings of synchronous program sessions that were available for asynchronous viewing after the session ended.

          If a synchronous program session was recorded and posted for asynchronous viewing, count that program as an asynchronous program, but don't include the original views/attendance from when it was live (since those are getting counted under the Synchronous section). 

Programs – Definition of Children’s

Previously the definition of children’s programs encompassed those offered for ages 0-11. Children’s programming is being further broken out by age. Beginning in the 2021 Annual Report, there will be separate questions for ages 0-5, and ages 6-11
  • These categories will appear in the 2021 Annual Report. However, for 2021, there will also still be questions for the ages 0-11 category as libraries have not been instructed to collect data in categories broken down by age.
  • The questions for Number of Children’s Programs and Children’s Program Attendance are being retained for one more cycle to ease the transition to this new set of data elements for synchronous programs.
  • Libraries should start tracking children’s programs using the 0-5 and 6-11 categories as of January 2022 or as close to then as possible.

Programs – Location (only for in-person programs. Virtual programs are not included here)
There will also be two new questions breaking out total program sessions between in-library and off-site. These will not be subdivided by age groups, and there will not be questions on attendance.



When reporting your programming, think of it like there's two sections that may (but don't always) overlap.
  • 3.17-3.29 General program sessions and attendance for your fiscal year
  • 3.30-3.81 Topics for LIVE (Synchronous) programs that provides DLD further details depending on the topic (Summer Reading 2021, Early Literacy, English Speakers of Other Languages and Digital Literacy)
Here's an important excerpt from the DLD's instructions:
All programs counted in Questions 3.30 through 3.81 (Summer Reading, Early Literacy,
English Speakers of Other Languages and Digital Literacy) are also included in the
figures reported in questions 3.17 through 3.29, including live, virtual program sessions
and program attendance.


3.1 Library Visits

If total annual number is not available, typically the state says you may estimate this number by multiplying a 'normal' week by 52. Due to Covid, simply estimate to your best ability.

3.1 DLD has advised not to use curbside as library visits since patrons could not physically go in the building.

3.1a UPDATE: DLD has added a new question, 'Regarding the number of Library Visits entered, is this an annual count or an annual estimate based on a typical week or weeks?

3.2 3.3 Registered Borrowers

This is in regards to both registered 'Resident' (lives within the library's chartered to service area) and 'non-resident'. NCLS provides the answers to these in our Master AR Spreadsheet.

3.2: Look to the spreadsheet for this answer.

3.3: Look to the spreadsheet for this answer.

3.4 - 3.10 Written Policies

These questions are mostly straight forward regarding whether you have a particular policy. If you're not sure, look at your prior year annual report. If you have a question, please contact your NCLS consultant.


3.4 Does the library have an Open Meeting Policy? Y/N

  • While some libraries have an actual separate Open Meeting Policy, some have language that references compliance with Open Meetings Law in their bylaws or another policy. This would be satisfy this question.

3.6 Does the library have an Internet Use policyYou are legally required to have this! 

3.8 Does the library have a board-approved Conflict of Interest policy? You are legally required to have this! 

3.9 Does the library have a board-approved Sexual Harassment policyYou are legally required to have this! 

3.11 - 3.15 Accessibility

Indicate whether the library provides services to persons who cannot visit the library, and whether the library has assistive devices for the deaf and hearing impaired and blind and visually impaired. 

3.17-3.21 Program Sessions

A Library program Is a planned event with a date, time, targeted audience & focus (may be weekly; monthly; in a series, or single)

AUDIENCES: four main categories - Targeted or Intended Audience determines AUDIENCE category in which statistics are tallied.

  • Children: 0-5 & 6-11 
  • Young Adults: 12-17 
  • Adult: 18 +
  • "All other Program Sessions" (DLD includes programming for 'Families' in this category)

TIPS for Library Sponsored Program

  • Count each session, regardless if it's in a series
  • Count each group visit to the library as one session
  • Count each visit to a school classroom as one session, count a visit to a group of combined classes as one session
  • Count each session for the INTENDED audience
  • Program sessions with NO attendance may NOT be counted.


For Questions 3.19, 3.19a, 3.19b, 

  • If you have broken out Synchronous Program Sessions for Children by age group, 0-5 and 6-11, please complete Q3.19a and Q3.19b.  Enter the total in Q3.19. 
  • If you have not broken out Synchronous Program Sessions by age group, enter the Number of Children's Programs in Q3.19, and enter N/A in Q3.19a and Q3.19b.



3.22 ONE-ON-ONE Sessions

  • Count library activities that are delivered on a one-to-one basis such as tutoring, services to the homebound, etc.
  • Computer assistance-whether scheduled by appointment or occur during a schedule walk-in tine frame can be a one-on-one session; computer assistance occurring during a non-scheduled time should be tallied as a reference transaction.
  • Make & Take or passive program activities may be reported Q.3.22 One-on-One Program Sessions with a note added to explain the increase. If you made 35 Make & Take kits, you would count 35 One on One sessions and 35 participants.

3.24 - 3.29 Program Attendance


  • Count each person in the audience at each program session, regardless of the intended/targeted audience
  • Count attendance at EACH session in a program series
  • If a summer reading program is held but no additional programs are held, count total number of participants (children & young adults)
  • School visit? Count the total number of students in the class

For Questions 3.26, 3.26a, 3.26b

  • If you have broken out Synchronous Children's Program Attendance by age group, 0-5 and 6-11, please complete Q3.26a and Q3.26b.  Enter that total in Q3.26.
  • If you have not broken out Synchronous Children's Program Attendance by age group, enter the Children's Program Attendance in Q3.26, and enter N/A  in Q3.26a and Q3.26b.

Please note that the Number of Children's Programs (Q3.19) will not be totaled in the Total Number of Synchronous Programs (Q3.21), and the Children's Program Attendance (Q3.26) will not be totaled in Total Attendance at Synchronous Programs (Q3.28).

3.30 - 3.51 Summer Reading

For this section, count programs held during the summer months: June - August .

  • Count programs for children, young adults, and adults.
  • Count programs and participation regardless of the theme used. 
  • Use guidance for numbers of programs, number of sessions and targeted audience as outlined under Library Sponsored Programs (3.1-Q3.28).
  • Count each child, young adult, and/or adult as registered to participate in a reading encouragement program if an 'official' library form as been completed. Or, participant has been placed on an official library list for such purpose.

3.52 - 3.82 Early/Adult/English Speaker/Digital Literacy

Early Literacy: Everything a child knows about communication BEFORE they learn to read and write. Programs for the targeted audience; birth to age 5 & parents/caregivers. Early Literacy program sessions may be for children, for parents/caregivers; or, for both.

Adult Literacy: Workforce Development programs with a targeted audience of non-adult literacy students. Programming includes tutor & student in use of library & its resources such as computers, library materials, job information, job search, test prep, GED prep, citizenship prep & other types of literacy assistance for adults. Sessions may be for groups or one-on-one.

ESOL: Programs that help speakers of other languages learn English. Sessions may be for groups or one-on-one. 

Digital Literacy: Ability to use information and communication techniques to find, evaluate, create and communicate information, requiring both cognitive & technical skills. Examples: Basic computer skills, create e-mail accounts, using social media, online applications & job search resources; may be groups or one-on-one sessions.

Teen-Led Activities: Activities in which teens lead in many aspects of the programming process including planning, design, marketing, and evaluation.