Demonstrating Results: Using Outcome Measurement in Your Library

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ALA Editions
8 12"

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  • Description
  • About the author

I became a librarian because of my interest in how reading affects people, how it can lead to insights and help people transform their lives…library services and materials help them in their efforts to change and grow. Outcome measurement can assess how well libraries do that.—Rhea Joyce Rubin from the Preface

Library services and programs that not only meet goals but can also demonstrate these results are more likely to secure repeat funding. By evaluating and presenting outcomes, libraries can document the positive work they do in a concrete way and gain financial support.

According to Planning for Results expert Rubin, outcome measurement lets libraries evaluate how they affect their users' quality of life. This latest addition to the PLA-sponsored Results Series uses familiar task breakdowns along with key terms in a step-by-step, service-oriented format so that readers can master the outcome measurement process as they:

  • Enhance library programs using evaluation techniques
  • Use and customize the 14 step-by-step workforms to address unique needs
  • Gather and interpret statistically accurate data to demonstrate outcomes
  • Measure, evaluate, and present outcomes to attract funding

Applying these concepts in examples and in two running case studies, an Internet class for seniors, and a teen mother-tutoring program brings the model to life. The "Toolkit" includes tips on creating evaluations, coding data, and selecting a sample.

By assessing the impact of services in users' lives, public library directors and program managers demonstrate to funding bodies their accountability and the effectiveness of programs, thus positioning their libraries to secure maximum funding.

Rhea Joyce Rubin

Rhea Joyce Rubin has been an independent library consultant for over thirty years. She specializes in extending public library services to people who do not traditionally use the library, and in outcome measurement. Working exclusively with libraries, Rubin divides her time between consulting (problem solving, planning and evaluation) and training. She has trained more than 10,000 librarians and paraprofessionals in more than 40 states. She is the recipient of numerous awards from the American Library Association, including the Shaw Award for Library Literature in 1980 for her first two books.