ALA Council

Forum Morning Session Pilot Survey Results

  • 1.  Forum Morning Session Pilot Survey Results

    Posted May 22, 2018 07:36 AM
    [also posted to the Council mailing list]

    Thanks so much to the 153 respondents to the survey on a pilot of schedule changes for Council Forum at ALA Annual 2018. That's a very high participation rate. 
    The short answer is that there is a clear preference for not meeting at night, and the responses indicate these times for Forum at Annual:
    • Sunday 6/24 7:30 am - 8:30 am (move directly into Council I)
    • Monday 6/25 7:30 am - 8:30 am (move directly into Council II)
    • Monday 6/25 4 pm - 5 pm
    The responses are lopsidedly in favor of not holding Forum at the original scheduled times. Meeting in Council chambers is not a perfect solution, but (assuming it's too late to do anything for ALA Annual) for Midwinter we could ask for a regular room. Note: in case you are thinking these results mirror my preferences -- while I prefer changing from night meetings, I was surprised at how many people apparently have bladders of stainless steel and prefer to slide from one meeting into another without a break. 
    In terms of data integrity, anonymous surveys are subject to issues, but the survey had measures designed to prevent ballot-box stuffing, and a review of IP addresses and geolocations indicated nobody submitted more than once. My one data integrity question has to do with the number of people (69) self-reporting that they "attend all or most Council Forums"--that seems high. Of course, how we define "most" is very subjective. With more testing, the survey might have also included "no preference" choices for Forum. 
    I wouldn't expect to see ca. 90+ people at Forum. It's an optional meeting, and how people respond on this survey isn't necessarily an indicator of what will happen when we all get to NOLA and are lured by breakfasts with friends, beignets, morning sessions, or another hour of sleep. 
    I included the comments because so many people contributed, and the comments were rich with insights about Council--much food for thought. The comments that probed Council process are particularly interesting. Perhaps worthy of a conversation at Forum? 
    Other analyses of the data can be generated. One that is interesting is a cross-tab between self-reported Forum attendance and preferences for when Forum meets. Even among those who report attending all or most Forums, a majority prefer not to meet at night. 
    Thanks to the survey testers who helped make this data possible (Ann, Susan, Abigail, Aaron), and thanks also to Matt and Rodney, current and former Forum conveners, as well as ALA staffers Lois Ann and JoAnn, for all their information and assistance with this data discovery. 
    I look forward to your comments on this survey. 

    Karen G. Schneider, Ph.D.
    ALA Councilor at Large
    Dean of the Library
    Jean and Charles Schulz Information Center
    Sonoma State University
    Rohnert Park, CA
    text/cell 510-207-5576
    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers