RIPL Data Boot Camp Webinar Series
By on January 13, 2021 in Public
Is one of your new year’s resolutions to get your library’s data in shape? Then, spend the winter with the Research Institute for Public Libraries (RIPL) and participate in our Data Boot Camp Series! This free webinar series features curriculum from the RIPL 2020 national event. These will NOT be webinars where you listen to a talking head the whole time; instead, please come ready to participate in a variety of interactive learning activities, some of which will occur in small groups in breakout rooms. Here is the schedule – go to https://ripl.lrs.org/ripl-data-boot-camp/ to learn more about each webinar and register: January...

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Happy Holidays!
By on December 11, 2020 in Between a Graph and a Hard Place
We have loved having you all with us on our data journey! We are putting our blog series “Between a Graph and a Hard Place” on hold in December. We’ll be back in January with more exciting information about doing your own evaluation, including specific ways of collecting data like surveys, focus groups, and observations. In the meantime, we wish you all happy and safe holidays! Special thanks to Mary Bills for the beautiful artwork.…...

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How to conduct a secondary research evaluation in four steps
  In our last post, we assured you that it was possible to complete an evaluation without ever leaving your desk! So as promised, here’s how to conduct a secondary research evaluation in four simple steps. Remember, in the scenario in our last post, you are a youth services librarian at a rural public library that serves a population of 4,000. You want to know if your summer learning program is effective at engaging youth with developmentally enriching content (our evaluation question). You don’t have the time or resources to go out and collect your own data, so you decide to conduct...

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Conduct an Evaluation Without Ever Leaving Your Desk
Are you ready to get your hands dirty and start evaluating? After covering outcomes, the logic model, evaluation questions, and research ethics, our next step is to start collecting data. I know many of you might be thinking, “But we’re still in a pandemic. How could we possibly do an evaluation now?” Well that’s one of the many advantages of secondary research. What is secondary research and why should I do it?  Secondary research involves data that has been previously collected by someone else. As opposed to primary research, where you collect the data yourself, secondary research uses “available data” and various...

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Research Ethics: It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt
We’ve all heard the old adage “it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt.” Although most people direct this phrase at children, it can just as well be applied to conducting research. It’s all ethical—until the risks outweigh the potential benefits. It’s all fair—until your participant compensation becomes coercion. It might seem like common sense delineates these areas clearly, but sometimes our good intentions can obfuscate ethical from unethical. That’s why it’s necessary to thoroughly think through these considerations prior to conducting research or an evaluation.  Do the potential benefits outweigh the potential risks to participants?  You may not be conducting...

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Not creeping continued: may we have this data?
By on October 21, 2020 in Between a Graph and a Hard Place
Welcome back! Last time we talked about how to protect the privacy of evaluation participants. Today we’re going to continue our discussion of research ethics with informed consent and how to work with vulnerable populations. Informed Consent In order to be a researcher and not a “creeper,” you need to: 1) ask for participants’ permission, 2) be clear with them about what is going to happen, 3) explain the purpose of your study, and 4) give them the option to stop participating at any time. Let’s take a look at one of those examples from the Urban Dictionary definition of creeper again:...

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