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Snapshot Day Lessons Learned

I don’t usually use my blog for “notes to myself,” at least not much, but, not knowing when next year’s Snapshot Day is going to be, I can’t very well make myself a calendar reminder, the way I do for National Gaming Day @ Your Library or, now, National Poetry Month. (I don’t know if “calendar reminder 1-2 months ahead of the date” is GTD-approved methodology, but I’m confident it will work better than “scramble at the last minute, because you only remember when Facebook tells you it’s happening already,” which was my approach this year.)

And, anyway, I never forget about Snapshot Day. I’m on the statewide committee (which sounds all prestigious, maybe? but we’re a very small state, personnel-wise; so far I’ve found that, if I’m willing to do stuff, people will let me be on any committee I show up for). So it’s not the calendar reminder I need, but the “Lessons,” from this year. And last year.

First of all, it’s all well and good to make sure the wiki, Flickr, etc. are working well, but I also need to arrange for Snapshot Day to happen at my own library. And I only half did that:

  • I contacted our Head of Access Services on Thursday, to see if we could get gate counts and ILL counts for Monday (yesterday), which she delivered, so good work there. I’ll do that again.
  • I did not ask her to get the Circulation Desk staff to count how much technical help they provided, or to get people counts for the study rooms, so that data is lost.
  • I contacted our Designated Photographer (she likes taking photos and does a great job) ahead of time, and she agreed to participate, which happened, so, again, good work.
  • We have reference tracking software, which also counts “technical help,” from the Reference Desk. So all the various help that happened there was captured. People even did a pretty great job of providing descriptions of the reference questions they answered, so I have stats for “e-gov help.” And I have good sample reference questions.
  • We have a Sirsi guru, so I didn’t have to worry too much about circulation counts, ahead of time. He ran the report for me today.
  • I didn’t get in touch with our Head of Reference, our Archives, or our partner library on campus (“Learning Resources Center,” it’s called), ahead of time, and that means I passed up some information that would have been nice to get. (Actually, I did let Archives know on Monday, before they were open. So they were able to capture data. They sent me their reference count and some photos today.) Major lesson, there: give LRC a heads up (they’ll probably run their own Snapshot Day next year), and talk to Reference ahead of time. Which I meant to do, but there was a preventable communications breakdown.
  • I also didn’t set up Google Analytics, or any other automated tool, to count the number of hits from our public computer proxy IP address, which might have given me an estimate of “computer usage” for the day. Our ref staff couldn’t possibly keep up, even if they could see all of the computers, which they can’t.
  • I didn’t print out “why do you love your library?” forms, or ask on Facebook, or post them on the website, or anything. We stumbled into one comment, from an organization we’re partnering with on campus, but that’s it.
  • And, this one is key: there’s a question on the form that I don’t understand. I’m on the committee, and I don’t understand the question. This happened last year, too, I think. Obviously, if we do this again next year, we’re going to have to talk about what that question means and make it better!
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