Tools and Methodologies

Outcome Based Evaluation

Project Outcome - PLA has developed these free surveys that measure the changes in library patrons’ knowledge, skills, attitude, behavior, or status after attending or participating in library programs or services in the areas of early child literacy, lifelong learning, digital inclusion, job skills, economic development, civic/community engagement, and summer reading.

Outcome Based Evaluation Step by Step - Follow the process with this example from Oregon State Library on their Ready to Read program.

Logic Models [pdf, 311kb] link your outcomes and impacts to the inputs (resources) and outputs (programs) that the resources make possible.. Use this guide from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation to create your own.

Urban Institute Outcome Indicator Project - The Outcome Indicators Project provides a framework for tracking nonprofit performance. It suggests candidate outcomes and outcome indicators to assist nonprofit organizations that seek to develop new outcome monitoring processes or improve their existing systems. Indicators exist for programs such as family literacy, business assistance and more.

Community Indicators Project advances and supports the development,availability and effective use of community indicators for making measurable and sustainable improvements in quality of community life across geography and discipline.

Qualitative Data Analysis

Qualititative data is observations or the answers to open ended questions in a survey. The University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extenstion has developed a detailed guide [PDF, 166 kb] to analyzing this rich information source.

Public Access Technology Tools

Edge Assessment is a management and leadership tool, helping libraries create a path for the continuous growth and development of library’s public technology services. From operations to partnerships and programming, the toolkit generates recommendations for implementing best practices to align with future growth and community priorities. It also provides useful resources to demonstrate the library’s community service to community leaders

Impact Survey is an online tool developed specifically for libraries that want to survey their community about public access technology services at the library, and how to improve those services to enable better patron outcomes.