Plan for identifying public library “best practices” in education and economic development

Library Contact Person

Identify one or more specific collections, services, or programs (hereafter services) your library offers that exemplify your strongest efforts to serve organizations and individuals involved in education and/or economic development.

Identify a specific member of your staff who you can speak with about each of these services.

Staff Person Associated with Service

Interview these staff members either face to face or by telephone.

Produce a brief case study report about each example service. Write a paragraph describing the service:

  • when did it begin,
  • what resources are involved,
  • who does it serve,
  • what need does it meet,
  • how is it offered (when, on what terms).

Ask the staff member for success stories about this service.

Ask the staff member to refer you to an individual who has benefited from this service, who is willing to speak with you about it. Ideally, this person would be a beloved teacher in the community, a school district leader, a successful small business owner, a civic leader, etc.

Patron Associated with Service

Introduce yourself to the person to whom you were referred and give them a general overview of the ROI study project and their role in it. Be sure they understand that you wish to include information they provide in the report, including possibly quotes from them.

Ask the person to whom you were referred:

  • how they benefited from the service, and
  • how they believe it might benefit others.

In addition to the above questions, ask the individual if they are willing to estimate the economic value of the service to them:

  • Savings to their organization.
  • What they believe they would have had to pay for the service elsewhere.
  • What they would have been willing to pay for the service.

Finally, be sure to ask the person for permission to identify them in the report and to verify any exact quotes with them.