BULLET Public Library Benefits Valuation Study
Appendix C - Pre and Post CBA Conference Evaluations

Public Library Association
2000 Pre-Conference Program Evaluations
Determining the Value of Public Library Services
Friday, July 7, 2000

Neutral Disagree Strongly
1. Overall this program met my expectation 19 15 1    
2. My understanding of the subject matter has been enhanced as a result of attending this program. 23 11 1    
3. The information presented in this program will be of value in my professional activities 17 14 3    
4. The speakers were well prepared and communicated effectively. 23 11 1    
5. The speakers were knowledgeable in the subject area. 27 8      
6. The speakers made effective use of audiovisual aids to present information. 24 11 1    
7. The handouts provided by the speakers were well organized and informative. 26 8      
8. The speakers provided ample opportunity for discussion and questions. 14 18 1    
9. I would attend additional programs on this topic if presented by PLA. 13 13 6 2  
10. The facilities were adequate for the program and comfortable for attendees. 9 15 5 4 2
11. The program description in promotional materials accurately represented the program content. 15 16 3 1  

12. Would you recommend this program to a colleague?

Yes - 32
No - 3

13. How did you hear about the program?

PLA web site - 2
PLA@ALA - 8;
American Libraries - 17
ALA Annual Conference program - 4
Colleague - 3
Other - 3

Narrative Comments

Excellent presentation - one of very few sessions I've ever attended that gave concrete, statistically valid, non-anecdotal information.

More details on methodology would be useful. Perhaps a follow-up program.

It might have been interesting to have the IMS person speak briefly about funding possibilities for this or related projects.

Excellent program. Great speakers.

Either hot or cold - otherwise ok.

Extremely interesting program. Staffing concerns make it difficult to employ at this time. But if the opportunity does arise at my institution I will be on the team! Thank you.

May I say first how well prepared the A.M. speakers were. Dr. Elliot in particular. I wish more people could have attended - seemed like 1/3 of our audience were staff/personnel affiliated with the five libraries in the study. This is no criticism but a recommendation that the program be replicated next year, perhaps as a PLA/ULC conference or a PLA  preconference.

Don Eliot - very knowledgeable and competent. The effectiveness of this kind of survey data will vary from locale to locale. Need to develop a considerably simpler instrument.

Manual was very well done! The added notebook at any ALA conference. The cost/benefit projection for use of the information is enormous.

Program was better than I expected. Thought it would be full of good info, but boring as hell - not true! Each speaker kept the momentum from the previous speaker and kept the interest level high (room temperature not withstanding). Public libraries need to embrace this concept - local, state and national level. Perhaps PLA could coordinate with state organizations to get this message out.

This is of essential value to large library systems, but, in all honesty, could have been a deadly presentation. Instead, the material was presented in a clear, coherent way that took us through a complex process by presenters who used Power Point presentations that were informative, engaging, and dare I say it entertaining. great job!

Room had good acoustics. Excellent lunch, except for vegetarian service. Program very inspiring - should be able to apply info most immediately.

Economist - section much too long. Overkill more interested in libraries' experiences and future use of data.

Post-Conference Evaluation of CBA Conference,
October 2000

The research team surveyed those who had attended the PLA Pre-Conference attendees on October 9, 2000. Attendees had had approximately three months to think about the application of the CBA methodology to their library situations.

In response to Question 1, "Does the methodology discussed at the Public Library Association pre-conference have an application in your library?" respondents were almost evenly divided between those who saw an application in their library and those that did not. Others wanted a more streamline version of the methodology.

Examples of their narrative responses follow:

I am a director of a federated library system with 13 independent public libraries, one with a population of 50,000, the remainder with populations of under 25,000. I hope that as you refine the methods, the Cost-Benefit Analysis Project methodology will be useful for libraries of the size of our system.

We are not interested in CBA as a priority at this time. Maybe some future application.

It is not a standard to justify budget requests.

I am not a library employee, but a consultant working with public libraries and library systems. I learned a lot from this pre-conference, some of it is immediately implementable, others simply added to my cache of knowledge about library evaluation. By far the best part of the conference was Glen's verbal and his written presentations, and the economist's remarks. I found less useful in the other speakers, but that wasn't to say they weren't good. For my own work, however, the two program portions I just mentioned were most helpful. Thanks for sponsoring it and thanks for the chance to give you feed back.

I am not working in a library setting. I was interested in the methodology as a researcher.

When asked, "Do you have plans to implement the methodology in your own library?" several respondents, recognizing the need for long-term planning responded that they were considering the application of the methodology in their own libraries.

Trustees are now considering a study that would use some of the cost-benefit methodology and combine it with economic impact analysis.

Board, after hearing my report, expressed considerable interest. However, an internal study was just completed, so there are no immediate prospects for this one. The board was quite impressed with the study and the results for the surveyed libraries.

Yes, We're beginning a strategic planning process, and I feel sure that we'll be able to use the CBA information/methodology in some way during the next 12 months.

To help show the value of our library to citizens and founders.

The respondents found the per-conference materials helpful. One respondent suggested a 2-page briefing sheet to be used in presentation to library boards.

Materials were excellent. A 2-page piece would be a helpful tool when presentation to boards. (Basically made myself one).

Can't think of any way.

1. Would you recommend this project to another library administrator?

Yes - 2 No - 0

I would certainly recommend reading over the materials and hearing about the project.

Only three respondents choose to answer the final question, "What other comments would you like to share with the research staff?" with the following comments.

Excellent work

A really excellent program. One of the best if not the best I've attended at any ALA conference. The research staff should feel very good about themselves.

I like the way CBA appeals to not only funders but patrons of all attitudes. The ones who love us, of course are happy to be able to spout figures, and the ones who think we're drains on the public coffers are better persuaded by the CBA than by heartwrenching tales of how the library "changed my life." I also like to its' adaptable... can be simple or more complex. Having SLPL and others go through the process will (I hope) make librarians less scared of statistics and learn better how to use them.

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Public Library Benefits Valuation Study