ALA Midwinter 2017

The Importance of Metrics in Youth Services at #alamw17

How do we use metrics and quantitative data to express our value? Throughout this conference I have spoken with a variety of librarians from around the country (who work in a wide range of settings) about this very topic, and it seems like a question everyone is asking!

This afternoon I attended a session sponsored by PLA titled “Managing with Data: PLAmetrics” that showcased different reports and filters, and it left me wanting more. (For more information check out

I want a more indepth conversation about metrics within our profession. As youth librarians, what data should we be collecting? What questions should we be asking? How can we band together and share this data so we can truly assess the impact our profession is having on our communities at large? Librarians serving youth have tremendously powerful anecdotal evidence of the impact we are making, but we are often missing the statistical evidence to validate our critical role.

I look forward to continuing these conversations and learning more about how different librarians and libraries are using metrics to validate and support our profession. Please share in the comments ways that you collect and use data!

-JoAnna Schofield, Cuyahoga County Public Library (Ohio)

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