In Ukraine, we’ve been working with several methodologists at oblast libraries to understand how Ukrainian librarians collect data, and use that data within their libraries. Although librarians in Ukraine are required to collect extensive data, we have found it’s often flawed, and the data itself is collated into reports, transmitted to the National Parliamentary Library, and promptly forgotten.
In February, I met with five methodologists for a workshop facilitated by Nancy Davenport of DCPL, to discuss potential research projects they will be implementing in their libraries. One librarian, concerned by the low rate of teachers as library users, wanted to investigate why teachers don’t come to libraries. To conduct the study, she was proposing interviewing the teachers who are already library users, and put the results of that research into a report delivered to the pedagogical institute.
Nancy and I worked with her to refine the idea – if teachers are not using the library enough, perhaps interviewing teachers who do not yet come to the library would be a better way to examine their reasons for non-usage, and there may be some better ways to reach out to teachers who are not frequent library visitors than writing a report for the pedagogical institute.
We recently received her revised research proposal. In the revised version, she proposes two groups of teachers to interview: teachers who are currently library users to identify why they come to the library and what changes they would like to see, and teachers who do not come to the library to see why they don’t come to libraries and what services would be useful for them. Once the research concludes, she plans to adjust library services based on the results, hold press conferences to cover the results, attend school meetings and parent-teacher conferences to talk about new services for teachers, and develop library advertisements to place in schools and with teachers.
Next week I’ll be travelling to Aarhus with the librarians, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what changes in approach they’ll see in Danish libraries!