Boston Public Library
Strategic Planning

The BPL Compass

Out-of-school Time Survey Highlights

by Gina Perille

During the development of the Boston Public Library’s strategic plan, community members expressed a desire for a reimagined and enhanced Homework Assistance Program (Principle V, Outcome B, Strategy 1). Since the spring, the Boston Public Library (BPL) has been engaged in a process to fulfill that very request by discussing and analyzing a range of out-of-school time program options.

In addition to the planning work of library professionals on the BPL’s Youth Services team, the library administered a survey to gain input directly from children and teens, along with a separate survey for parents and caregivers. The staggered survey roll-out schedule made it possible to incorporate comments from the children and teens survey (May 2012) into the adults and caregivers survey (June 2012).

Below are highlights from both survey instruments utilized. Adult and caregiver responses appear in blue; children and teen responses appear in orange. For the chart immediately below, survey takers were allowed to choose multiple program types in their response. The numbers along the left-hand side represent what percent of respondents chose a particular program type.

For the chart immediately below, survey takers were allowed to choose multiple activities in their response. The numbers along the left-hand side represent what percent of respondents chose a particular activity.

Work continues on the library’s out-of-school time program offerings. The surveys have direct influence on the out-of-school time programming model the BPL will unveil in September of this year. Programming will focus on themes such as arts, writing, science, math, and robotics each month during the school year. From September to May, the Boston Public Library will partner with other Boston-based organizations offering those types of programs. The library’s calendar (www.bpl.org/calendar) will list out-of-school time programs beginning in September.

Thank you to all who completed the surveys and who offered comments in the open response sections in addition to the objective questions. Ninety-five (95) young people completed the May survey and 191 parents and caregivers completed the June survey.

 

 

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