Facilitating Focus Groups: Best Practices for Gathering Data Through Group Conversation

Focus groups are a great research tool for gathering feedback on new products or programs and better understanding your library’s community. By learning to facilitate or moderate a focus group discussion, you can uncover multiple perspectives or find out what people have in common within a cohort.

This workshop will offer hands on practice in designing and running focus groups. We will cover the following topics:

  • Why Focus Groups?
  • Focus Group Design: Questions, People, Place
  • Facilitating An Inclusive Conversation
  • Data Collection & Analysis

This workshop is intended for professionals and students who are interested in learning how to build research and facilitation skills, and design for diverse audiences.

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the context in which focus groups will add a helpful dimension to data collection
  • Generate a set of useful questions for use in the focus group setting
  • Foster a congenial atmosphere in which participants are comfortable contributing
  • Utilize collected data to build hypotheses around a set of research questions

Due to time constraints, this workshop will not go in depth on the qualitative data analysis process. Look for future METRO workshops on this topic.


Fees for this workshop are $30 for METRO, myMETRO, and ESLN members; $60 for non-members


Eventbrite - Focus Groups


About our Instructor

Julia Marden is still figuring out what she wants to be when she grows up. She has a background in academic librarianship and community building, with a passion for data literacy and diversity work. She has designed and facilitated events with the NYC Department of Education, BetaNYC, and DataKind. She holds an MLIS from the Pratt Institute and rides a sparkly purple bicycle.  


Mon, Aug. 1, 2016
2 p.m. - 5 p.m. America/New_York


METRO Training Center (4th floor)
57 E. 11th Street
New York, NY 10003
United States