IFLA WLIC Statistics & Evaluation Section Conference
Project Outcome for Academic and Public Libraries: Outcome Measurement Made Easy
Keynote Address at the Satellite Conference of the IFLA Statistics & Evaluation Section
Presenters: Sara Goek (ACRL) & Emily Plagman (PLA)
Date: Thursday, August 22
Location: University of Piraeus, Greece
Project Outcome is a free online toolkit designed to help both public and academic libraries assess and communicate the impact of essential library programs and services. First launched in 2015 by the Public Library Association (PLA), it provides simple surveys and tools for measuring and analyzing outcomes, including interactive data dashboards. Users also have access to the resources and training support needed to utilize their results and confidently assert the value of their library. The standardized surveys allow libraries to aggregate their outcome data and analyze trends over time by service topic and program type in both academic and public library settings. Libraries can also benchmark their outcomes against aggregate results nationally and by Carnegie class (for academic libraries) and at the state and national level (for public libraries). While the public library site has been in the field since 2015, ACRL’s Project Outcome for Academic Libraries launched in April 2019 and is also free and open to all academic and research libraries in the United States and internationally.
Attendees will learn how to use the Project Outcome surveys and resources to measure four key learning outcomes – knowledge, confidence, application, and awareness – across seven library program and service areas for each respective field. The survey topics for academic libraries cover: Instruction, Events/Programs, Research, Teaching Support, Digital & Special Collections, Space, and Library Technology. The survey topics for public libraries over: Civic/Community Engagement, Digital Learning, Early Childhood Literacy, Economic Development, Education/Lifelong Learning, Job Skills, and Summer Reading. The resources provide necessary support for libraries to confidently measuring and analyze outcomes in order to apply their results and confidently advocate for their library's future. Project Outcome provides libraries of any size the means to easily measure outcomes in those areas and to use that data as the basis for continuous improvements and advocacy.
Learning outcomes – participants will be able to:
- Measure meaningful learning outcomes using the Project Outcome surveys.
- Use the Project Outcome toolkit to administer surveys, analyze results, and create reports.
- Understand how other libraries have used outcome data for action.
- Identify challenges and effective means of implementing outcome measurement to improve library services and advocacy.