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Hammock Beach Woman Fishing And she lived happily ever after poster
Our library has also begun using Project Outcome to evaluate our programs, thus our publicity-request form requires everyone to categorize each program into one of the seven Project Outcome topic categories we use: civic/community engagement, digital learning, early childhood literacy, economic development, education/lifelong learning, job skills, and summer reading.
Refining the Process Over Time
Back when we started this process, we initially required staffers to enter the details of their proposed events into a spreadsheet shared on Google Drive, and then our program-planning committee members would review the spreadsheet and give a thumbs up or thumbs down to each proposal. Once a program was approved, the planner would fill out the online publicity request.
That approach proved to be somewhat burdensome for staffers, as they had to enter the same information in two places: the spreadsheet and the publicity-request form. Plus, it required multiple email exchanges to communicate which programs were approved and to answer any questions the committee members had.
We’ve since eliminated the original spreadsheet, and we now have planners pitch their program proposals in person to the committee so we can provide more timely feedback and ask questions. That alone has eliminated countless emails, and it results in less paperwork for everyone. Now, if a program is approved, its planner only needs to enter all of the related information in one place.
Using Google Forms to Collect Post-Event Details
More recently, we’ve added a few post-event questions to our publicity-request form, which staffers fill out for recurring programs. (In some cases, they answer those questions for new programs, using estimates. This helps us set expectations and create goals.) These questions also include how much staff and volunteer time was required and how much money the program cost.
In addition, we ask for the low, high, and average attendance numbers, along with the enthusiasm level that program planners observed in attendees. Our goal is to look beyond the gate count. If attendance is modest, but the participants are passionate, we want to know that.
We also ask how much meeting space is used and for how long and whether there are similar programs elsewhere in our community. Finally, we ask whether changes are planned for future iterations of the program.