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In accordance with NYS minimum standards for libraries, each library is required to:
- Have a community-based, board-approved, written long-range plan of service developed by the library board of trustees and staff
- Periodically evaluate the effectiveness of the library's programs, services and collections to address community needs, as outlined in the library’s long-range plan of service
Evaluation is Essential
In order to meet community needs effectively, ongoing evaluation is necessary.
To meet this standard, a library should be able to demonstrate that it queried its community, developed service objectives based on community need and evaluated the results of those objectives. The library also needs to demonstrate that action was taken to incorporate the results in the library's planning process. It is not enough to set a questionnaire on the circulation desk for the occasional curious customer to pick up. There should be an organized effort to determine community needs, and then to evaluate how well the library is meeting those needs through its collection and services.
Effective evaluation tools and methods:
- Simple evaluation form/survey handed out at the end of each program
- Documented discussions led by program leader
- Data tracking (increase in number of program attendees, number of programs held, etc.)
- Easily documented, organized and shared with board
- Annual report (useful tool for comparing previous year’s data)
Editable planning and evaluation tools can be found here.