Date of Award

Spring 4-5-2019

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Dr. Robyne Elder

Second Advisor

Dr. Amy Peach

Third Advisor

Dr. Ronda Cypret-Mahach

Abstract

This was an evaluation of the pilot program Paws for Reading along with other children’s programs ages 5-11 or Kindergarten through fifth grade, according to their mission in a Midwest public library setting. Public libraries were incorporating more programming into the schedules for the benefit of the patrons and growing communities. In this mixedmethods study, the researcher created instruments including a survey, questionnaire, and observation form to evaluate library programming. The library patrons, staff, and managers gave their opinions about the children’s programs provided by the library and the Pilot Program Paws for Reading. Questions included preference in library schedule, program visitation, and if the programs were developed with the library’s mission in mind. Growing concerns stemmed from understanding if the programs were following the Midwest public library’s mission, and liked by both patrons and staff. Additional concerns were centered on finding best timing of presentations, whether that was time of year or day. Another concern was understanding how the patron received news and updates from the library. No distinct study has been done in regards to the evaluation of a pilot program and the evaluation of similar children’s library programs. To answer the researcher questions the investigator created evaluation tools for managers, staff, and patrons to respond to after attending the programs. A researcher created observation tool was used to examine the presentation, patrons, and staff during set up, program time, and clean up. The groups evaluated can help determine the usefulness, quality and longevity of the program presented. Multiple themes were represented during the evaluation and included the Midwest public library’s mission for the community, convenience of the program, and if the respondents believed the program iii should continue or if there were changes needed. The program evaluation, according to the hypothesis, declared that participation rates for Paws for Reading was expected to significantly increase compared to the other programs implemented during the evaluation period. In addition, perceptions and perspectives of library programs from managers, staff, parents and caregivers were used to determine if the children’s programs were successful and aligned with the library’s mission. The results did not yield a significant increase in attendance, but positive and helpful reactions from patrons and staff resulted in an evaluation process that was beneficial for the library and community.

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