As a newer manager, I have recently been asking a lot of questions.
- How much programming should we be doing?
- Does this include story times?
- Is there a minimum number of programs that staff should be doing?
- Is there a maximum?
- At what point does burnout occur and can we prevent it?
- Should every staff member have to do programs?
Number of non-story time programs in an average week
Surveys are great tools, but you shouldn't interpret their results in a vacuum. What I mean by this is that it is important to go out and ask other people in similar positions questions so you have more information to better interpret the results. Luckily last week I attended the PLA 2014 Conference. You may recognize me as that person who quizzed you about your programming methods. What I found is that there is no standard answer. You need to do what is best for your community. I found that in a significant portion of public libraries that all YS staff program in some way. This includes libraries who split up their librarians with fancy titles, such as School Services Librarian or Preschool Services Librarian. On the other hand, many people brought up the Baltimore model where a select group of professionals run all of the story times and do it really well.
So what does this all mean? You could say, "Half of the respondents do 1 or less non-story time programs a week." With this thought you don't need to add more because you are just too busy or some other excuse. Otherwise, you can say, "Half of the respondents do at least 2 non-story time programs a week! I wish we could find a way to add at least 1 to our programming line-up." With this attitude, first, I as a manager would LOVE you. Then I would help you to make this work. There are a lot of great ideas out there in blogland, Pinterest, and the passive programming world. Make it work for you and your community. This is one of those areas that they don't teach in library school.
Look for more great survey results coming soon to both Libraryland and Mel's Desk.