How it works

Librarians and library staff work hard to provide services that meet the needs of their patrons. Impact Survey takes the guesswork out of understanding the real outcomes patrons receive from using library services – how they use services, what type of assistance they need, and how services improves their lives. Impact Survey is designed to be user-friendly and requires minimal time and technology skills to implement. And our team is available to answer questions and provide tech support when you need it.

Currently, Impact Survey has a technology survey ready for public libraries to use. You can download a PDF of the survey questions in English or Spanish for reference.

We've developed Impact Survey to work for different types of libraries and organizations. Find out how Impact Survey can work for you:

US and Canadian Public Libraries | State libraries | Public library organizations and other groups | Other types of libraries or organizations


 

US and Canadian Public Libraries

 

CREATE A USER ACCOUNT

Create an Impact Survey account for your library from the http://impactsurvey.org homepage, where you will fill out a brief registration form. Any library with a website and public access computers can use Impact Survey. Only one Impact Survey account can be created per library system, which may have a single outlet or multiple outlets; we cannot enroll libraries at the branch level. 

LOG IN AND GET STARTED

After logging into your Impact Survey account, you will be directed to the My Impact dashboard. From there, you can view and update your library’s organizational profile. The profile contains information about your library that we've prepopulated based on data from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. You will also be asked to verify your library's basic information, and to upload your library's logo and photo to customize your reports. Libraries with multiple outlets will also be asked to verify their locations and provided with an opportunity to add or remove outlets. We also ask that you complete a short intake questionnaire about your library's technology.

SUBSCRIBE TO RUN SURVEYS

To run an Impact Survey, you need to purchase a subscription. After you run a survey, you retain access to survey data and reports- regardless if you maintain a subscription. See our Pricing page for more information.

SCHEDULE A SURVEY

After submitting your organizational information, you can schedule a survey from your My Impact dashboard. We recommend fielding the survey for at least 2 weeks. Smaller libraries and those with few public access computers or a limited web presence may wish to extend their fielding period to 4 weeks or more to encourage more responses. The number of completed surveys is updated hourly on the My Impact page so you can keep track of how many responses you have received. You have the option of extending your survey fielding dates to up to 6 weeks if the number of initial survey responses is unsatisfactory for your purposes.

CREATE A PROMOTION PLAN

One of the most important things for the survey is to get good participation. The Survey Promotion plan will guide you through some steps you can take to make the survey successful. You will select from a list of options to promote the survey, and then a plan will be generated for you that you can print, and reminders will be displayed on the My Impact dashboard. You can change your preferences at any time. The plan includes handouts, sample email language, and other tools that will help library staff communicate with patrons about the survey and answer any questions that come up. We also provide other helpful tips for making the survey visible and accessible to your patrons.

LINK TO THE SURVEY

From your My Impact dashboard you will be able to link to the survey using buttons and banners embedded with a unique URL created just for your library. Simply select the links you want to use on your library's website, and copy and paste the code provided into your home page. The process is fast and easy, requires only basic knowledge of HTML, and the Impact Survey team is available for one-on-one help should you need it. The links are hosted by Impact Survey, so there's no need to upload images or make any other changes to your website. Libraries can also create their own website buttons and banners if they wish.

PATRONS TAKE THE SURVEY

The online survey contains detailed questions about the benefits and outcomes of using technology services. It takes approximately 8-12 minutes to complete. In our experience, patrons are willing to spend this amount of time to "give back" to the library. Patrons must be 14 years of age or older to take the survey. Prepare to generate as much patron participation as possible by using the customizable materials (flyers, table tents, etc.) Impact Survey provides. We also recommend that public computer browsers are set to default to the survey website. Some libraries have improved their response rate by having a dedicated computer for survey taking. Libraries can also promote the survey in their communities through social media outlets and at events, such as technology classes, at the library. Some libraries have drawings or giveaways to increase participation – everything from free prints to an iPad. You can also set a custom end page for the survey use and something as simple as a google form to gather email addresses for an incentive prize drawing.

DOWNLOAD YOUR REPORTS

At the end of your survey fielding period, you simply remove the code embedded in the website to take the down the survey links. If your library has used the paper survey option, you will be asked to enter the responses to those surveys through a special interface that makes entering the data fast for library staff. Once that's all done, you will be able to download your library's customized reports which you can use to communicate the value of your public access technology program. Libraries can also download their survey responses in a .csv file, if they want to do additional analysis. View sample reports below:

comprehensive report | two-page highlights | employment and education | slide presentation | comments by location | editorial

State libraries

Impact Survey has created a special portal for state libraries to easily gather data from the libraries in their state. State libraries can also purchase subscriptions for their state's libraires and the ability to run group surveys.

CREATE A USER ACCOUNT

Create an Impact Survey account for your state on the group registration page: http://impactsurvey.org/group/register.  When you register your state library at ImpactSurvey.org, you’ll immediately receive a FREE observer account. This account gives you

  • Impact Survey registration status of libraries in your state
  • Access to your state’s libraries’ reports and data
  • Constantly updating report and data from libraries that have run Impact Survey in the current calendar year

LOG IN AND GET STARTED

After logging into your Impact Survey account, you will be directed to the My Impact dashboard.  From there, you can update your state's group profile. You will also be asked to enter the state library's basic information, and to upload a logo and photo to customize your reports.

STAY UP TO DATE ON YOUR STATE'S SURVEY ACTIVITY

On your My Impact dashboard you can see an overview of Impact Survey activity in your state - how many surveys have been fielding and how many of your libraries have registered for Impact Survey. From your members dashboard you can view a list of members and their registration and subscription statuses.

DOWNLOAD REPORTS

From your members dashboard you can also view reports from libraries who have fielded the survey on their own. On the reports dashboard, you will find aggregate reports of data from all the completed surveys in your state from the current calendar year. 

OPTIONAL: GROUP SURVEYS

Upon request, states may also activate the group survey feature for their account. See below or contact us for more information.

Public library organizations and other groups

Impact Survey now offers special subscription options for library support organizations such as regional associations, cooperatives, or other types of library groups that collaborate across multiple public libraries. 

  • We provide a group survey feature to allow library organizations to collect patron surveys and coordinate survey fielding among member libraries.
  • We also offer several group subscription options so library organizations can give their members access to the full suite of Impact Survey tools.

CREATE A USER ACCOUNT

Create an Impact Survey account for your state on the group registration page: http://impactsurvey.org/group/register. Enter your group's name and acount information. 

LOG IN AND GET STARTED

After logging into your Impact Survey account, you will be directed to the My Impact dashboard, which you prompt you to continue setting up your account.

UPLOAD MEMBER INFORMATION

Use the dashboard to upload a .csv of your member libraries' information such as name and budgets. If you purchase an association or merged system subscription, we'll use this information to determine your subscription price. The Imapct Survey team will then add member libraries to your account.

STAY UP TO DATE ON YOUR GROUP'S SURVEY ACTIVITY

On your My Impact dashboard you can see an overview of Impact Survey activity of your member libraries - how many surveys have been fielding and how many of your libraries have registered for Impact Survey. From your members dashboard you can view a list of members and their registration and subscription statuses as well as download report from surveys they've fielded on their own.

SCHEDULE A GROUP SURVEY

Group surveys allow your state to coordinate surveys among your group's libraries at the same time. With a group survey, you can see and compare patrons trends across all your libraries' locations.

You can schedule a survey from your My Impact dashboard. We recommended fielding the survey from between 2 - 4 weeks with the option of extending the fielding dates to up to 6 weeks. The number of completed surveys is updated hourly on the group surveys page so you can keep track of how many responses you have received.

Encourage your libraries to register for Impact Survey. Libraries that register with Impact Survey before the group survey begins will receive individual reports with their library data.

LINK TO THE GROUP SURVEY

From your My Impact dashboard you will be able to link to the survey using buttons and banners embedded with a unique URL created just for this survey. Simply select the links you want to use on your state library's website and copy and paste the code provided into your home page. We've also included the direct link to the survey so you can also create your own  buttons or post the link to social media. When a patron clicks on the survey link, they will be directed to a page to select with library they use the most.

Libraries that register for Impact Survey will have access to a link created just for their library. This removes the step of patrons selecting their library location.

PATRONS TAKE THE SURVEY

Prepare to generate as much patron participation as possible by encouraging libraries to use their customizable materials that Impact Survey provides. You and your libraries can promote the survey in your communities through social media and at events, such as technology classes. Make sure to place your survey links in prominent places on all shared online resources such a online catalogs and websites. Some libraries have drawings or giveaways to increase patron participation - everything from free prints to an iPad. You can set a custom end page for the survey and use something as simple as a Google form to gather email addresses for an incentive prize drawing.

DOWNLOAD YOUR GROUP SURVEY REPORTS

At the end of your survey fielding period, you and your libraries simply remove the code embedded on the website to take down the survey links. If any of your state's libraries have used the paper survey option, they will need to finish entering all of their paper survey data. Once this is finished, you can download your state's aggregated customized reports and .csv file. All of your state's registered libraries will also be able to download their library-specific reports and data.

Other types of libraries

We can customize our platform to meet your organization's survey and data analysis needs. We provide survey design and validation services and can develop reports that show you the what you need to know about your respondents at-a-glance. Contact us to discuss custom survey options.