Planning & Statistics

Aim for the Third Star to the Right.

Hey, glad to see you have a general understanding of the laws affecting your small public library. Now we're going to look at planning because without knowing where the library is going and what your mission and goals are, there is no way you can possibly be a successful small public library. Serving the public is great, but lots of places serve the public: how does your library serve the public and in what ways; are you a community center; do you supply reading material, research material, or education? There are many different things the library can do; planning allows the library to look at the community's needs and how the resources of the library can best be used to meet those needs. If you are unsure of how to proceed, simply follow the practical steps listed in this chapter. After the practical discussion are sections discussing community assessments, surveys, and statistics — three important planning tools — followed by brief allocation and evaluation discussions. Finally, the basic steps for planning a program with a calendar of yearly events for public library programs are listed.

Did you know?

* There are more public libraries in the United States than there are McDonald's!
* Three times as many Americans visit libraries as attend movie theaters each year!1
* Public libraries entertain and educate many more people with their programming each year than attend top tier college football games.2
* Each resident in the United States checks out an average of 6.5 items while only spending about $27 a year in taxes for their public library, equivalent to the cost of one new best seller.3
* Nationally, public libraries receive less than 1% of all tax dollars, but are used by more than 50% of all adults.4


What does the community, and the individual patron, pay the library for? What is the library's mission? Work with these two questions to provide the community the services they need. Always look at your mission and the needs of the community before deciding to fund, or to continue funding, any service or program of the library. Ask yourself: is this in line with our mission; does it advance our goals and objectives? If either answer is ever "no," then work to slowly phase out that aspect of your service. Integrate planning, budgeting, and evaluation so all activities are heading towards the library's mission and goals.

The budget is your library's plan expressed in financial terms so people looking at your budget can determine what is truly important to your library. Think several years at a time, using a spreadsheet to forecast revenues and expenditures and creating both pessimistic and optimistic forecasts as well as those containing the best possible educated guesses. Identify all costs associated with providing a service, even the cost of what the library or others freely provide. Building, equipment, staff, and administrative costs should be calculated by what percentage of use a program or service takes. Multiply the total cost by the service's percentage to determine its share of the overhead. If more funds are needed, ask for them! Stand up for all of the people who use your library and demand they receive services they are entitled to. Publicize all the library does, how little it costs in comparison to other government services, and how many people take advantage of your services. People use their libraries more than any other government service! Convince the politicians and funders of the amazing value you offer. "Library support has ranged from one to two percent of U.S. municipal budgets for a century, rarely reaching the full two percent. For that comparative pittance, libraries know they serve about 25 percent of the population on a regular basis, and a much larger percentage less frequently. Very few agencies, public or private, can claim to provide that much service. We don't know of any that do it on a shoestring and still manage to deliver satisfaction at the rate of 95 percent."5 Library patrons are much more likely to vote than non-patrons; never let the politicians forget. Between the surprising value offered and the general love of the people for public libraries, you should never have to face a funding crisis. Be a leader and an entrepreneur, marketing the amazing library services you have and looking for opportunities to offer new services within your mission. Listen to the staff and your patrons regarding what they perceive as the needs and wants of the community since they are probably right. Be willing to try new things as you never know when you might succeed. The future is always moving so be prepared. The Boy Scouts were on to something.

Successful planning is built on a foundation of great communication. Before, during, and after planning — the better your communication with community and staff, the better your plan and the more likely it is to be followed and appreciated. Good communication allows you to obtain feedback on what works and what doesn't so future planning is better informed. Provide regular feedback on the success of individual communication efforts and encourage everyone else in the library to do the same for you when you are communicating with them. Let people know what was unclear or what confused you; let them know what you thought of their presentation, where you think it's excellent, and where you think improvements are possible. Effectively communicating with staff and volunteers will motivate and persuade them to support and uplift the plan. Opening lines of communication with other groups and organizations in your area will create partnering possibilities through sharing resources and efforts with other community service organizations and private organizations, especially the schools. You can get more for your dollar together and reach more people working hand in hand than you can on your own.

"Yet planning requires more than discovering where you want to end up; it involves a logical process of anticipation and the deliberate assessment of both opportunities and potential obstacles. Effective planning requires knowledge and information (about both the status quo and projected possibilities) upon which to base the dreams of what the future might be like. Organizational planning has to be a shared activity with input from everyone directly involved and also those potentially affected by proposed changes."6

A Practical Approach to Planning

All workforms and instructions from The New Planning for Results are available online from eLearn Libraries at

Step One: Learn / Review the Basics of Planning. Familiarize yourself with techniques for exploring possibilities, such as discussions and brainstorming, and reaching agreement in groups, such as consensus building and forced choice. Know how to communicate clearly in a variety of situations and how to present the data you will collect. See the Communication section in Chapter 6, Management, for more on communication. All this can be accomplished by reading the tool kit section of The New Planning for Results (pp. 221-278).7

Step Two: Create a Community Profile and Develop Surveys. From existing data sources, compile a general profile of your community. Work up surveys for gathering data on both the community's needs for a library and its perceptions of the library. Example surveys are included so you can simply fill in the blanks, photocopy, and go or you can choose the questions you like and create your own survey. Have professors and students in library science or statistics help you gather and distill the data.

Step Three: Collect Library Information including SWOT. Gather information on the library's current resources and service offerings; write down what the library has and what it provides the community. Perform a SWOT analysis looking at the library's strengths and weaknesses and the opportunities and threats surrounding it. Determine where your library currently focuses.

Step Four: Select a Community Planning Committee. While steps two and three are in progress, start selecting a community-based planning committee, giving your governing body say over the final committee. Include a staff member, a board member, and a representative from any active Friends of the Library organization. Look for representation from each of your major user groups and from active organizations in your community — ask school, business, professional, and government leaders. Make sure the final committee represents a cross section of the ages, educational background, and ethnicity found in your community. Each committee member can represent several groups, so you do not need a huge committee, 13 members may work fine. For more information, see "Design the Planning Process" in The New Planning for Results (pp. 23-31).

Step Five: Develop a Community Vision and Determine Community Needs. The planning committee, working with your collated and synthesized data, determines the needs of your community using the process of "Vision - Current Conditions = Needs." Keep the focus on your community and not simply the library while considering specific groups in the community and what they will need. Conflicting visions are fine since you can include all possibilities in this process. Perform a SWOT analysis to determine strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. For additional tips and hints see "Imagine" in The New Planning for Results (pp. 48-54).

Step Six: Determine which Needs the Library will Meet. The planning committee, looking at both existing and possible resources, decides which of the needs the library is best positioned to meet. Keep in mind that some needs are being met by other organizations in the community to avoid duplication and provide ideas for partnerships.

Step Seven: Develop the Library Mission Statement. The planning committee develops a mission statement for your library specifying which community needs you will attempt to meet. This should be a positive statement, i.e. the _ Library is a community center and a cultural center for the area. Take this mission to the board for discussion and approval at their next meeting.

Step Eight: Write Goals and Objectives. The planning committee writes goals to meet your new mission and determines how you will measure progress toward these goals. Write objectives that concretely state both the measure and what change the library wants to see in it using terms such as "increase" or "at least" along with a percentage. Some examples are to increase summer reading participation by 13% or to have at least 20% of older citizens attend a program. More possible measures are listed with each service response in The New Planning for Results (pp. iv, 151-220). Include a deadline within the next year or two for each objective when success or failure will be determined. Discuss the goals and objectives with the staff and then the board as both groups need to accept and support them before you can move forward.

Step Nine: Identify then Select Activities to Meet each Objective. Create a list of possible activities for each objective. Go through this list three times looking at (1) whether the activity increases your chance of meeting the objective, (2) what resources are required, and (3) the interest and excitement it will generate. Eliminate activities unlikely to help you meet your objective by its deadline then rank the remaining activities by resource requirements and fun factor. Select activities needing the fewest resources while generating the most fun. Don't forget to talk with the staff! For more information, see "Identify Preliminary Activities" in The New Planning for Results (pp. 97-102).

Step Ten: Share the Results! Write out the final activities, objectives, goals, and mission statement to share with the board, staff, and planning committee. Write up a summary, including your mission and goals, to share with patrons and the whole community.

Step Eleven: Implement the New Plan. Follow up with resource allocation, integration, and implementation of your library's new plan, budgeting for each activity. Look at the service responses in The New Planning for Results (pp. iv, 151-220) for help with resource allocation. Each resource — staff, collection, facility, and technology — has a certain capacity, utilization, access, and condition. You can also look at "Determine Resource Requirements" (pp. 104-115), "Allocate or Reallocate Resources" (pp. 132-141), and "Monitor Implementation" (pp. 141-144).

Public Library Roles

1. Community Activities Center
2. Community Information Center
3. Formal Education Support Center
4. Independent Learning Center
5. Popular Materials Center
6. Preschoolers' Door to Learning,8 supports parents gathering and communicating

Community Profile

Data to Gather:

* last two U.S. Censuses for your service area
* library statistics of libraries with similar service populations in your state
* education reports for your area, including number of home schooled and privately schooled students
* special education and free lunch figures from the schools
* any local studies that have already been done whether demographic, business, environmental, or other
* list of programs and the number attending from any county extension agency
* list of local governments, organizations, and state and county agencies affecting your area9
* regional or local quality of life index

Create a community profile from this information, including percentage tables of residents from different age groups, ethnic groups, spoken languages, and educational level achieved. Compare the two censuses to see how the population in your area is changing, paying close attention to preschoolers (0-5) and senior citizens (65+). Particularly note changes in overall educational level since the more educated citizens are, the higher their expectations for library service. Homeschoolers also make greater demands of the library collection and its services. Look both at your overall service population as well as the various governmental areas you serve, possibly creating simpler, separate community profiles for each village or town. You may want to combine several census groups into one group for your profile as below.

Age distribution

* 0-5 years
* 6-17 years
* 18-29 years
* 30-44 years
* 45-64 years
* 65+

Educational attainment

* No diploma
* H.S. grad or GED
* Some college
* Associate degree
* Bachelor degree
* Higher degree


Four simple questions to guide your efforts are to ask your patrons:

* What are we doing right?
* What are we doing wrong?
* What could we be doing that we're not?
* What should we stop doing?10

To get meaningful data from a survey, whether of materials in the library or people in the community, your sample needs to be randomly selected from and fairly represent the whole — every item or person should have an equal chance of being included in the survey. To make sure each subgroup is represented in the sample first order the entire list by said subgroup, i.e. for including each neighborhood in your area first order the list by neighborhood. Divide the total number of members by the sample size you want. Use a random number between 1 and the answer to select the first member for your sample then simply count down by the answer in the list to select each member for your sample. If there are small subgroups you definitely want to include, select all or part of their members anyway making sure you adjust for this over-inclusion when doing your later calculations by determining the subgroup's average and multiplying by the number, or fraction, of members the subgroup would regularly have had in your sample. "If you want to be 95 percent confident that your study findings are accurate within ±5 percentage points of the population parameters, you should select a sample of at least 400."11 For results to be accurate within ±4%, your sample should be 625, to increase up to ±3% requires 1100, and ±2% requires 2500. Remember, all of these sizes are for a 95% confidence level. If you have a small population you can ask everyone for a 100% confidence level!

Surveys of forced choice questions are the best, i.e. listing the level of services possible and how much a person would have to pay for each, then asking respondents to choose what they would be willing to pay for. See the sample surveys included here for examples of forced choice questions where respondents or interviewers would circle a provided answer. The sample surveys also have open-ended questions asking respondents to list their favorite areas or write in what they perceive as problems. Open-ended questions allow data you could not foresee during survey creation to be gathered.

Sample Surveys (Publisher 2000)

Sample Surveys (PDF)

Ask people outside of your organization — the community, politicians, funders, community leaders, different community groups — how they view the library's image and what they perceive as its strengths and weaknesses. Always ask your heavy users, those using the library once or more a week, and include them in the planning process. The average library user is only there once or twice a month while study after study shows public library heavy users to be young mothers with 3 or more children under the age of 12. Asking what the community wants will give you many wishes, dreams, and desires; take these into consideration. Evaluate the wants to unearth the community's current needs and consider what issues the community will have to deal with in the future. Work to solve or provide information and services to deal with these needs and issues.

Write up a summary of the data gathered, sticking to the facts. Look at percentage, average, range, variance, and standard deviation. Use graphic representations of your data whenever practical such as bar charts, pie charts, and line graphs. Most spreadsheet packages can automatically generate these from the data you enter. There are many more observations to be made from this summarized data: list all of the ways your library can fit into the community, list all of the existing and developing needs the public library can meet, etc.


Compile statistics at least quarterly to share with the board. Include new users and what part of your service area they are coming from, computer usage, visits to the library, items and catalog records added, program attendance, and circulation. If possible, compare the current statistics with the same quarter from a year ago and yearly graph the trends for the past two to three years. This is a simple way for the board and staff to keep up with what the library is doing and watch for growing trends.

Percentages are great measures since they can be compared across different organizations easily. Any percentage measure means taking the item of interest, dividing it by the total of that area, and then multiplying by 100. If the library above had 5,000 people with library cards, then the percentage of the population that were patrons would be 55.6% = 5,000 / 9,000 * 100. When doing budget preparations, prepare reports or graphs showing how the budget is distributed between staff, materials, technology, and facilities; a pie chart would be excellent. Any per capita measure simply involves taking the original measure and dividing it by the total population of your service area, i.e. a library receiving $250,000 a year in revenues for a service area of 9,000 people would have a per capita, or per person, income of $27.78. Multiplying a per capita calculation by 1,000 then gives you the same measure per 1,000 population. When I refer to uses, I add up the yearly circulation, reference transactions, computer usage, and program attendance.

Sample Statistics

* percentage of service population that are patrons
* percentage of patrons from each township, city, or other geographic area
* staff per 10,000 population
* visits per staff hour = yearly attendance / number of hours staff worked in the year
* uses per staff hour
* service cost per use = total cost to provide service / number of people using the service
* graph expenditures vs. uses over the years
* graph advertising vs. uses over the years
* operating income per capita
* wages and benefits / FTE staff
* percent of budget for staff
* percent of budget for materials
* materials expenditures per capita
* collection items per capita
* number of computers available to the public per 1,000 population
* materials turnover = yearly circulation / total items in circulating collection
* visits per capita
* circulation per capita
* browser's fill rate = number of browsers finding something / number of browsers
* document delivery rate = percentage of material requests filled within a certain number of days
* program attendance per 1,000 population
* program attendance per program = total program attendance / number of programs

Compare usage vs. maximum possible usage, i.e. all computers used every hour the library is open, every item always checked out, or every staff member answering questions every 15 minutes. Any collection or area of the library approaching maximum usage should be expanded or updated. All statistics can be compared to national and local averages available from the National Center for Education Statistics, National averages, fiscal year 2002, for the 6,809 libraries serving populations from 0 to 20,000 people (and in parenthesis for the 8,106 libraries serving 0 to 50,000) are:

* 7.2 (6.9) staff per 10,000 population
* 3.7 (3.7) visits per staff hour
* 6.9 (7.0) uses per staff hour
* $32.47 ($32.53) income per capita
* $4.99 ($4.88) materials expenditures per capita
* 17.9% (17.4%) of budget for materials
* 8.1 (7.3) collection items per capita
* 184 (175) audios per 1,000 population
* 272 (248) videos per 1,000 population
* 19.2 (17.3) subscriptions per 1,000 population
* 1.73 (1.54) Internet computers per 1,000 population
* 1.34 (1.49) materials turnover rate
* 5.62 (5.54) visits per capita
* 8.26 (8.13) circulations per capita
* 289 (254) children's program attendance per 1,000 population

Once you select the data, include the entire set for each element — do not report only the good responses or only the circulation increases; look at the whole. Be able to explain why you chose the data elements used and where the information came from if your report is ever questioned. Double check all the numbers and calculations you use to avoid including any inaccuracies or typos; one small mistake can sink your entire presentation. When organizing your data you can put them in their:

* chronological order showing trends over time,
* priority order starting with the most important data and then backing it up with related data, or
* narrative order arranging the data to tell an overall story starting with what your audience already knows and leading them to your conclusion.

Use graphic representations of your data whenever practical, making sure your document showing this data is visually appealing, attractive, easy to read, and clearly shows the information. The best layout is a balance between empty space, text, and graphics that guides the reader's eyes to your information — simple is always better than crowded. Put together a listing of some basic statistics to circulate in the community.

Staffing Allocation

Work "with the smallest percentage of labor possible."12 In labor-intensive fields, like libraries, this achieves the greatest efficiency possible and will allow the library to do more overall. Personnel costs are a significant and often growing portion of a public library's budget. Stick to the basics, focus, and be damn sure you can pay for it before branching into new areas. Most library staff are already fully employed in doing the jobs for which they were hired, so to change they must either work faster and smarter at the tasks at hand or stop one task when adding in another, more important task. Make sure work is being focused on your goals and objectives through identifying and eliminating activities unrelated to your mission as well as extra steps in all activities moving you toward your mission. It is also important to look at the overall work distribution among staff since everyone needs to have similar workloads, be contributing to the goals and objectives of the library, and feel they are being treated fairly. It is hard to justify adding staff or hours in today's climate and reallocating hours or positions also poses many challenges. "Demand for a service rarely falls away completely, which means difficult choices have to be made and political support has to be developed for these choices."13

Programming & Services Allocation

Increase the value of your services: offer home computer help, introduce people to the Internet and email, help them set up their PC system, take credit cards both to pay for fees and fines and for donations, have drive up drop off and pick up for materials, allow remote access to holdings, reserves, ILL requests, renewals, and more, rent the latest bestsellers or videos, find rare or out of print items for a fee, or download and compile audio CD's. Many of the ever-expanding palette of services and programs available to the small public library can be set up to pay for themselves with fees.

There is a real desire today to interact with other people and talk about what is going on in the world as we become more and more isolated. Everything is now available delivered into our homes and experienced singularly so cultural programming is very important. Simply having a weekly time to gather for coffee and cookies at the library might be a wonderful service. There is also a greater demand than ever for children's programs, although you sometimes have to take them on the road to day cares. Other important programming can include tutoring, a homework center, or after school programs. Put up a bulletin board for community events. Provide connection and support in your community.

While interacting is important and valuable, people still come to the library for a quiet place to sit and read or study too. Suggest these people try to use the library while the children are attending school and, if possible, create quiet spaces where the rest of the library can be shut out. Plan the library hours and location to be most convenient for the majority. Due to physical, medical, or other reasons, people exist in every community who cannot get to your library so arrange for volunteers or other means to get the materials to these people. Always include a postage paid return envelope if offering books by mail.

Expect people to be independent in their library and computer use. In general there is little staff interaction with a patron; 80% of people using the library find what they are looking for and then leave. Help everyone through great signage and information in the stacks where it might be needed or sought. A patron's first contact with staff should also be their last, i.e. the staff should be the hero and be able to handle the patron's question or problem themselves without checking with a supervisor.

Programming Desires

Kids want fun, prizes, recognition, and something to take home. Generally boys want strength, power, good vs. evil, control, and silliness and girls want beauty, a glamorous lifestyle, strength, control, and silliness. Many of these wants overlap — you can target boys and girls with the same program. You make deep connections with the kids by fulfilling their wants starting with the program theme which needs to be in active words implying power, strength, and control. Their parents usually want reading, learning, activities, a place to socialize, to keep their kids busy, a safe place, and participation with their children. Senior citizens want a place to share and discuss, to create community, to share their love of reading, and to create memories. Visitors want rainy day activities, interaction with other children, to make friends, a connection to their vacation community, and to support programs through donations.

The cause of most problem children is the parents, or lack thereof. Even if a child has parents, if their parents are not involved in the kid's lives and providing them with learning opportunities, it makes little difference. A support group for parents is needed at every level in the community. Work on creating many networks for sharing, learning, and caring. Look at troubled kids as abandoned and needy, not dangerous. Every person, no matter what they have done, has worth and should have hope for the future. Pull out their strengths and build on them and let them earn privileges by helping others.

Collection Allocation

All small public libraries need to plan for providing best sellers, children's books, basic information, popular magazines, and local and regional newspapers. You may be able to share foreign language and ethnic collections with a larger group, either a regional or statewide network of libraries. Purchase large print, audio books, and adaptive technology since people live longer and need help accessing the information and stories available. We are also an increasingly busy society and audio books allow us to do other things while experiencing these stories. Be very aware of emerging disabilities as your patrons age; hearing and vision loss are common with aging, but the patron will be uncomfortable with the loss and with adaptive technology. Help them without embarrassing them — let them find and use the technology on their own through signs and simple instructions, i.e. a bin of magnifiers near the card catalog. Work with senior apartments, homes, and groups to get their residents signed up for Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped services. LBPH will mail books on tape and/or large print materials directly to anyone who qualifies. Your library can keep a rotating collection of large print and audio books in central locations at nursing homes and senior apartments too. Other great places to have small rotating collections are subsidized meal sites, head start, daycare, clothing or food assistance sites, etc. See if your Friends group or the location will pay for a bookcase. Library programming can also take place at these rotating collection sites. Art and music are especially appropriate. Be sure to plug the library and its full range of services at each program. Once the basics are covered, consider branching out to videos, music, interactive games, puppets, and realia.

The 80/20 Rule:

* 80% of your circulation will come from 20% of your items, the newest ones
* 80% of your use will come from 20% of your users
* customer service should aim to satisfy 80% of your interactions with patrons

Do not try to do the impossible. Handle the remainder of your interactions with classes, tutors, making appointments, charging fees for the service, or referrals.

Facility & Technology Allocation

When planning a new library building, addition, or renovation consider adding space for performances or exhibits — a large room could even be used for both. Being able to hold large audiences and invite area crafters and artists to exhibit is a wonderful opportunity to share the library and its resources with the community. Either put aside money yearly for major maintenance projects or educate funders about upcoming expenses, i.e. a new roof. As technology progresses, plan for more space to be taken up by computers and less by reference material. All small public libraries need to plan for providing high-speed Internet access and replacing your technology. Purchasing a fifth of your computers every year means no computer is ever more than five years old.


A plan is required to describe your programs and services and how they are evaluated. "The library should be constantly evaluating itself, its services, the needs of the community, and the environment in which it operates. Feedback from the community, in the form of patron surveys, presentations at service clubs, projects of library Friends groups, and other public contacts provide valuable information about current service programs and other services which the library might provide. It is equally important to know about other library activities within the community and region and the opportunities they offer to provide better service, new programs, or reduce costs."14 Look at other sources of programs and materials available to your community and find out what is available through nearby library systems and state networks. Measure your activities, programs, and services. Compare what you do with model public libraries, small public libraries in your region, and book and video stores. This benchmarking gives you a general idea of where your library stands and where you can make changes. Small libraries can do a better job than big libraries because they are closer to the patron and have daily interactions with them; this constant contact and feedback allows your plans and educated guesses to be more accurate.

Programs and services all need measurable outcome objectives, i.e. what will be different in the community or with the patron as a result? Feel free to project the ripple effect forward through all of the people influenced by the patron who partook of the actual program. Outcome measures are always in terms of the patron, individually or as groups, and come from several different areas: physical costs, psychological costs, financial costs, time, value, quality, and ease of delivery. Some common outcomes are increased library visibility, families now using the library, enhanced job preparedness, using technology to access information, increases in skills, and changes in behaviors. Outcome data can be collected by surveys, evaluations, testing before and after, focus groups, interviews, and observations. Use the Outcome Evaluation Toolkit available at Information Behavior in Everyday Context (IBEC). Go to and then click on Tools and Resources to find the Outcome Toolkit. It has a wonderful section, Step 2 Topic b, on creating open-ended questions libraries can use to determine outcomes.

Steps to Plan a Program

1. Plan a budget and stick to it.
2. Pick a date that doesn't conflict with other community activities.
3. Contact entertainers, speakers, guests, and volunteers. Let them know the program format and expected attendance. Allow plenty of time.
4. Plan publicity and send out notices at the appropriate times.
5. Be there to greet all special guests.
6. Publicly acknowledge those who helped and also send thank you notes.
7. Evaluate how the program went and write down any ideas for a better program next time.

Selected yearly events to work library programming around:

January National Hobby Month
January 15 Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birthday
January 21 National Hugging Day
February Black History Month
February 14 Valentine's Day
February, 3rd Monday President's Day
March School Library Month
March Women's History Month
March 1-7 Return the Borrowed Books Week
March 2 Read Across America Day / Dr. Seuss's Birthday
March 17 St. Patrick's Day
April National Poetry Month
April 2 International Children's Book Day
April 22 Earth Day
April, 2nd full week National Library Week (sometimes the 1st full week)
May Asian Pacific Americans Heritage Month
May Older Americans Month
May 5 Cinco de Mayo
May, 2nd Sunday Mother's Day
May, last Monday Memorial Day
June Gay and Lesbian Book Month
June 1-7 International Volunteers Week
June, 3rd Sunday Father's Day
July 4 Independence Day
August 26 Women's Equality Day
September Library Card Sign-Up Month
September, 1st Monday Labor Day
September, 1st Sunday Grandparent's Day (must be after Labor Day)
September 15-October 15 Hispanic Heritage Month
September, last week Banned Books Week
October Computer Learning Month
October National Storytelling Month
November American Indian Heritage Month
November 1 National Family Literacy Day
November, 3rd week Children's Book Week
November 25 Andrew Carnegie's Birthday
November, 4th Thursday Thanksgiving
December Universal Human Rights Month

See the Kaboose site, Kids Domain, at for information and wonderful crafts and activities for dozens of holidays!


1. Michigan Public Libraries Data Digest, 2000 (Lansing, Mich.: Library of Michigan, 2000): 2.
2. Public Libraries in the United States, Fiscal Year 2001, June, 2003, available at Accessed 1 October 2004. 2002 NCAA College Football Attendance, available at Accessed 1 October 2004.
3. Why Do Books Cost so Much? by Christopher Dreher, December 3, 2002, available at Accessed 1 October 2004.
4. Michigan Public Libraries Data Digest, 2003 (Lansing, Mich.: Library of Michigan, 2003): 2.
5. Paul John Cirino, The Business of Running a Library (Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, 1991): 16-17.
6. Barbara Conroy and Barbara Schindler Jones, Improving Communication in the Library (Phoenix, Ariz.: Oryx, 1986) :71-72.
7. Sandra Nelson, The New Planning for Results (Chicago: American Library Association, 2001).
8. Charles R. McLure…et. al., Planning and Role-Setting for Public Libraries: A Manual of Operations and Procedures (Chicago: American Library Association, 1987).
9. Linda Fox, The Volunteer Library: A Handbook (Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 1999): 34-35.
10. Hannah/Gold Communications, 16 Tips You Can Use By Next Thursday.
11. Earl Babbie, The Practice of Social Research, 8th ed. (Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth, 1998): 209.
12. Paul John Cirino, The Business of Running a Library (Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, 1991): 37.
13. Diane Mayo and Jeanne Goodrich, Staffing for Results: A Guide to Working Smarter (Chicago: American Library Association, 2002): 2.
14. Malcolm K. Hill, Budgeting and Financial Record Keeping in the Small Library, Second Edition (Chicago: American Library Association, 1993): 2.


* Durance, Joan C. and Karen E. Fisher. How Libraries and Librarians Help: A Guide to Identifying User-Centered Outcomes. Chicago: American Library Association, 2005.
* Fox, Linda. The Volunteer Library: A Handbook. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 1999.
* Hage, Christine Lind. The Public Library Start-Up Guide. Chicago: American Library Association, 2004.
* Nelson, Sandra. The New Planning for Results. Chicago: American Library Association, 2001. All workforms and instructions for this title are available online from eLearn Libraries at

© Edward J. Elsner, 2005

Edward Elsner Library Consulting

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