An Ask (3-minute survey) & An Update (Library Index)

Audio version:

Dear all,

Defining, measuring, and evaluating “library performance” is tricky and contentious. Libraries in Community Systems is approaching this subject three ways: define the public library role and value, replicate, extend, and refine the Library Index used by other researchers, and map the networks within which the library contributes.

Available for use and investigation right now are standardized, indexed, scored, and ranked public library data files (, the methods used to create the files (, and comparison tables with extensive notes in order for you to gain insights from our preliminary findings ( 

What’s missing? YOU!  (3-minute survey

Libraries in Community Systems moves slow on publication of findings because we iterate our methods and interpretations with our library partners and shift in light of library worker guidance. We acknowledge the subjectivity in even the most number-based data study and seek to balance our impulses with real-world expertise. Research needs to be useful. 

In this under 3-minute survey (, there is one primary opinion question: what data indicators are important to you when evaluating local library service?

The results will shape our final library index. The survey will be open through June 30th. Don’t work in a public or tribal library? Share the link with your colleagues who do! 

Consider sharing this with whoever you chat with. We talk a lot about “telling our story” and “improving service”. Real talk -> what are the data that define the performance you strive for