Mid-Continent Public Library
PLAmetrics Case Study
Using PLAmetrics to Advantage
Mid-Continent Public Library
Steve Potter, Library Director and CEO
Public libraries are increasingly employing PLAmetrics to support a wide variety of local operational and advocacy needs.
Mid-Continent Public Library, MO
“One way that we use PLAmetrics is to support our budget preparation. Here is the link to our recently approved fiscal ’13 budget. http://www.mymcpl.org/_uploaded_resources/Proposed_Budget_2013-14.pdf
The following are a few places where we referenced the PLDSPublic Library Data Service data that we harvested from PLAmetrics:
- Page 22 graph comparing MCPL expenses for personnel, material, and overhead versus peer averages.
- Page 30 and 31 where we talk about MCPL proposed expenses for materials within categories (e.g., books, ebooks, periodicals, etc.) and compare that to our peers based on the PLDSPublic Library Data Service data.
- Page 44 and 45 where we look at several output measures and compare MCPL with the min, max and peer average.”
“All of this data really helps put the MCPL budget in perspective. We are a large library system. In fact, when I first started doing the budget, our library’s budget was greater than the total budget of one of the counties that we serve. This was confusing to those county officials. Placing our information in context has helped them a lot.
Additionally, it helps to better tell the story to our public, our staff, our board, and our larger community.
Frankly, this is just the start of how we will be using the normative data from PLDSPublic Library Data Service. As we move to more data-driven decision-making and continue to migrate toward outcomes and impacts, putting our numbers in context with other libraries helps our community understand what the data mean.”
PLAmetrics is an online public library data management tool for employing historical and current PLDSPublic Library Data Service data for benchmarking, trend reports, analyses, etc. PLAmetrics also provides access to historical IMLSInstitute of Museum and Library Services data.
Note: 1,400+ public libraries across North America annually provide operational data.
The PLA supports PLAmetrics on behalf of its member libraries and retains Counting Opinions to manage the annual PLDSPublic Library Data Service data collection and the PLAmetrics data tool.
For more information and to subscribe, go to http://www.plametrics.org.
About Counting Opinions
Facing constant competitive challenges, libraries and library organizations need better tools to understand and manage customer needs and to compete more effectively for scarce resources. In business since 2004, Counting Opinions provides libraries and library organizations with a cost-effective, evidence-based management solutions’ platform for the comprehensive management of their performance and customer satisfaction data. Solutions for custom surveys, open-ended customer feedback, trends, benchmarking, outcomes and peer comparisons are also available.
Note: Interview conducted and case study prepared by Counting Opinions (SQUIREThe 6 key dimensions of service Satisfaction, Quality, re-Use, Importance, Recommendation, Expectation) Ltd..
Please cite this article as: Mid-Continent Public Library; Steve Potter, Library Director and CEO