Say It with Data: A Concise Guide to Making Your Case and Getting Results

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Administrators, policymakers, legislators, and the public demand concrete, measurable evidence of the need for libraries and their use. The collection and dissemination of data about library service in a straightforward, convincing manner are integral components of library advocacy in the current economic climate. Addressing frontline librarians lobbying for increased programming or staff, as well as administrators marshalling statistics to stem the tide of budget cuts and prevent library closure, this vital new book explores the whys and hows of using data to build a better picture of library needs and success. With a distinctive combination of research-based information and practical application, Dando

  • Demonstrates how data from surveys, focus groups, ALA, and state and local sources can be aggregated and used to craft a strong message
  • Takes readers step by step through the process of using data to tailor a message to specific audiences
  • Offers real-world examples from school and public libraries that can be used as models

Addressing the requirements of a variety of stakeholders, this concise resource lays out an easy-to-follow, systematic way of inspiring action through clear, compelling data.

 Preface Acknowledgments 

1 Determining Need, Message, and Audience 2 Secrets of Effective Communication 3 Working with the Power of Statistics 4 Methods of Measurement: Surveys 5 Methods of Measurement: Focus Groups 6 Presenting Data to Get Results 

 Appendix A: Survey Checklist Appendix B: Focus Group Checklist Appendix C: Data Presentation Checklist Appendix D: Birmingham Public Library Patron Survey Appendix E: Sample Student Survey, Robert E. Lee High School Appendix F: Sample Teacher Survey, Robert E. Lee High School Appendix G: Westborough Public School Library Survey (Faculty) Appendix H: Sample Survey Results for Analysis  Bibliography Index

Priscille Dando

Priscille Dando is a library information services educational specialist supporting the secondary library programs of Fairfax County Public Schools, Virginia. Her 23-year career as a teacher and librarian has focused on best practices for instruction and advocacy for teens. She is a National Board Certified Teacher in Library Media and was named Teacher of the Year at Robert E. Lee High School in 2003. A member of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) Board of Directors, she also serves on several advisory boards, including the National Forum on Teens and Libraries hosted by YALSA and supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

"This handbook aims to assist librarians and information professionals with useful methods of presenting data to advocate for support of libraries and information centers. The author makes a convincing case for the need for such a book as this … Valuable for providing useful tips regarding planning and presenting data collection generally."
— Catholic Library World

"The book draws on personal experience and is written in a nontechnical manner … Whether they are seasoned leaders, librarians seeking to prove to others the importance of a new idea or change, or students learning how to use surveys and focus groups to support decision making, most librarians will find value in this book."
— Booklist

"Although the examples and appendix materials are geared toward school and public library programs, the practical tips offered in this book are useful to anyone who needs to make a case for funding and financial support … The strategies offered will help readers develop impactful advocacy plans when presenting cases to funders, whether they are the library director, library board, a grant funding agency, or private donors and sponsors."
— Technical Services Quarterly