Public Libraries Solution To Meeting New PLS Survey Reporting Requirements

The COVID-19 pandemic transformed the way libraries offer programming, with more programs being made available online. With this change also came changes in reporting requirements related to programs.  This year libraries will be required to submit additional information about program attendance for the PLS survey.  Libraries will need a way to fulfill the upcoming PLS survey requirements that include programming type (in-person, online, or both), attendance numbers, and categories.  You may have recently received information about the new requirements from your state. 

Many of our public library partners have expressed concern about how they were going to answer these new questions.  They were looking at changing their processes, or building excel sheets to try and track the information, but weren’t exactly sure where to get started. 

As a WhoFi customer, you’re in luck.   We’ve already developed a solution for you and it’s already included in your subscription at no additional cost.  It’s an easier and more accurate way to track programming numbers, and it works with the new requirements in mind – The Community Calendar. 

What is the Community Calendar?

Community Calendar is a dynamic tool to help public libraries schedule and track programs and see program trends. Libraries can better understand their patrons and programming attendance with the reports intuitive statistics reporting.

An easy-to-use system to schedule programs, view insights, and report – all in one place. This tool makes it easy to schedule, manage, and count attendance at all programs and events. It also helps library directors articulate the community impact they are having through the programs being offered. This information helps libraries when it comes to advocacy efforts.

“WhoFi has been a great addition for us and a huge improvement over the tracking tools we were using before, which was a hodgepodge of spreadsheets and manual tabulations. We had been struggling to figure out how to track virtual programs and offsite programs since previously we relied heavily on our meeting room scheduling software. Hard to do when the program isn’t going to use a room! We are also really excited that it will feed directly into the categories that the state library needs for their annual report. What we report monthly to our Board is always just a little different than what the state asks for so this is very much appreciated. I’ve also found WhoFi to be very responsive to support issues as they are working through how to add this service to their platform.”

Monique Shore, Drake Community Library

What does the Community Calendar do for your library?

  • Gives you the tools to provide answers about programs and  attendance, both in-person and online.
  • Defines clear categories for programs to create consistent reporting based on PLA requirements.
  • Accounts for the new state requirements surrounding programming. 
  • Alleviates the need for hand-tallying and storing numbers on paper / spreadsheets.
  • Auto-generates reports for easy end-of-year reporting – no more complicated spreadsheets and calculators needed – we do it for you!

The Community Calendar tool helps public libraries plan programs in advance and also account for past programs so everything is synced together in one seamless reporting system. This tool will help libraries reduce the burden of tracking, organizing, and identifying program effectiveness. It’s also helpful for board and stakeholder meetings because directors can have easy to understand numbers right at their fingertips. 

We at the West Point Public Library have loved the addition of the programming calendar. It’s an easier and more accurate way to track our programming numbers. We use it to track all of our programs, and especially appreciate the ability to flag summer programs. Very easy to set up repeating events! The parameteters you can set for each program mirrors exactly what will be included on our state’s Annual Survey begining next year. Plus the reports that you are able to generate allows you to quickly view your program numbers and is great to share with your library board of trustees. Plus, your customer service has been outstanding!”

Dara Sanders, Director, West Point Public Library

As a WhoFi customer, if you’re not seeing the Community Calendar link show up in your online account, simply contact support, and we’ll enable it for you.  If you’re not yet a WhoFi customer, and you’re interested in learning more, schedule a demo with us today.