Designing Effective Surveys: Practical Strategies for Any Library

Jul 14, 2017, 9:30 am - 3:30 pm



Sponsored by the Empire State Library Network (ESLN)


Location: Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES, Liverpool


Audience: Librarians in all types of library settings; library staff planning to engage in a survey campaign


Description: Despite their common usage in collecting data from a large pool of individuals, surveys require art and skill to be designed effectively and administered deftly. This workshop will help participants to hone their survey development skills through a series of learning activities and discussion points.


Program Outline:

1) Overview

Purpose of Surveys & Questionnaires

Surveys as a Process

Types of Surveys

Also, brief coverage of Rapid Assessment Instruments (RAIs) and Screening Tools


2) Preliminary Planning

Sample Considerations

Design "Pondering"

Initial Measurement Considerations

Resources (Practicality)

Analyzing Analysis

Reporting/Dissemination (Purpose, Audience)


3) Development & Testing

Identifying & Determining What to Measure (Concepts)

Item Construction & Development, including Measurement

Pretest, Pretest, Pretest!

Feedback & Revisions


4) Next Steps (Brief)


Data Collection & Retention

Variable Coding


Instructional Activity Methods: Active learning approaches; group work, including within Google Docs (likely); discussions; brief lecture points


Required Materials: Personal laptop highly recommended; Google Drive account (for group work)


Outcomes: After the workshop, participants will:

  • Better understand the survey process
  • Know about different types of surveys available to them for specific purposes
  • Improve on their ability to consider the types of measurement in their survey design
  • Be able to construct better and/or more effective survey items


659_harvey_eugene_j.jpgEugene Harvey is Assessment & Reference Librarian at the State University of New York, College at Buffalo (Buffalo State). Eugene incorporates knowledge of quantitative and qualitative research methods into the everyday workings and projects at E.H. Butler Library, including statistical benchmarking, internal assessment activities, and strategic planning and evaluation.


Eugene has published several peer-reviewed articles, and he has presented at numerous conferences nationally and internationally, including the Library Assessment Conference, Educause, and the Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Libraries Conference (QQML). Eugene's research and scholarly interests include library assessment & evaluation, social science research design, statistics, institutional collaboration, and learning spaces. Eugene is a former Ph.D. Candidate (ABD) in Social Welfare from Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) in Cleveland, Ohio. He also holds Master's degrees in Library Science (University at Buffalo) and Social Work (CWRU).

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