Are you responsible for filing your library’s 2005 Public Library Annual Report? If so, this message is for you.

The last couple of months I’ve been busy updating the 2005 Public Library Annual Report (aka the Public Library Survey) and doing the requirements testing of the survey software, Collect. It’s a busy time for LRS, but hopefully all the hard work will make the survey easier for everyone.

Many of you will be glad to hear that we’ve eliminated 21 data elements and added just 4 — giving us a net loss of 17! We’ve also updated some of the language and definitions. To preview the 2005 Public Library Annual Report and the Instructions, please visit our homepage at http://www.LRS.org.

The survey now…

* uses the term “revenue” instead of “income.” From our point of view, it’s the same thing, we’ve just converted to the language of FSCS (Federal-State Cooperative System for Public Library Data).

* has expanded definitions for “circulation” and “reference questions.” We recently learned that some libraries were not counting this data element correctly, so we’ve clarified these terms. In addition, the definitions for “staff salaries” and “benefits” have been updated to reflect the legal definition of an “employee.”

* includes an updated salary section that mirrors the ALA salary survey. The advantages of this change include fewer data elements, comparability across surveys, and definitions that apply to more libraries. As before, this is intended to be a representative group of positions, not exhaustive. This is one of our most difficult sections to make compatible with all “sizes and shapes” of libraries. It seems everyone organizes their personnel a little differently.

Thanks go out to the 2005 Public Library Survey Review Panel, who helped identify problems with the survey questions and defintions, as well as data collection. They also aided in formulating viable solutions. We weren’t able to accommodate all their suggestions, but we made many of the changes they recommended…as well as a few of our own.

If you have any question or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.
~Nicolle

steffen_n@cde.state.co.us
303-866-6927