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Re:SRP:Outcome-Based:Data Collections Method:Focus Groups
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Focus Groups

  • We have designed two sets of focus group questions:
    • Set 1 should be used to collect data for outcome one.
    • Set 2 should be used with groups targeted for outcome two.
  • In set 1, the word clubhouse is used in question 4 to substitute for the word community in focus groups with children. Our pilot study found that children had difficulty thinking about and discussing the idea of community when the word community was used with them.
  • Focus groups should comprise five to nine participants.
  • Libraries should conduct at least two focus groups for each outcome. If you want your data to be relevant to a specific library, then that library should conduct at least two focus groups.
  • In the case of focus groups for children and teens, the respondents in both focus groups should be of approximately the same age (e.g. seven- and eight-year-olds or thirteen- and fourteen year olds). Do not do one focus group with younger children (or teens) and another with older children (or teens).
  • In the case of focus groups for family summer reading program participants, we recommend you either (a) just include adult family members in the focus groups, or (b) separate focus groups for kids and parents.
  • If you get wildly different responses in the two focus groups, conduct one more. You are looking for patterns of responses that recur in more than one focus group session.
  • Conduct your focus groups towards the end of the summer in a location away from the public area.
  • For tips and guidelines on recruiting people to focus groups and leading focus groups, see our focus group guidelines.
  • Collate your results at the end of the summer, and use them to improve your summer reading program and help tailor it to the needs of your community.