Evaluating programs' success is an important part of a programming librarian's work. Knowing what worked — and having information to back up your claims — can help you explain your successes to bosses and board members, apply for grants, and plan programs that serve your community even better in the future.
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With COVID-19, libraries quickly pivoted to move their programs and events online. The early months were about figuring out "the how" and getting new routines in place; now it is time to find meaningful ways to evaluate and assess the success of what we are offering.
Just counting attendance will never tell a holistic story of whether a program succeeded or failed. There is so much more data that we can collect to tell a complete story about library programming to funders and board members, to prepare to apply for grants, and to plan for the future.
Admit it: you have a love/hate relationship with all program evaluation forms. As programmers, we understand these forms' necessity in ensuring program integrity and value, but as participants, we dislike completing them. So how can we get the information we need while honoring the opinions (and time) of our program attendees?