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Five Steps of Outcome-Based Planning and Evaluation for Public Libraries
Melissa Gross, Cindy Mediavilla, and Virginia A. Walter
Item Number: 978-0-8389-1404-5
Publisher: ALA Editions
Price: $38.00
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The e-book edition and the print/e-book bundle of this title are also available separately.

120 pages
6" x 9"
ISBN-13: 978-0-8389-1404-5
Year Published: 2016
AP Categories: A, C

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Planning and assessment are both crucial elements of a public library that functions efficiently and flexibly. So why are they often treated as separate processes? This concise book combines planning and evaluation in a holistic approach, helping public library managers and staff put library resources to work for the community. Based on a series of successful workshops, the workflow presented by the authors is made up of manageable steps for integrating outcome-based planning and evaluation (OBPE) into the routine functions of the public library. Offering step by step guidance that’s transparent and easy to follow, this book
  • introduces the concept of OBPE and explains how it can be a streamlined, effective method of getting library users’ feedback;
  • defines “outcomes” and shows why public libraries should use them to plan and evaluate services;
  • shares methodologies for assessing community needs and interests, including key informant interviews, surveys, focus groups, and environmental scans;
  • demonstrates how to use community assessment data to create outcome statements that not only guide the creation of new library services, but also provide targets for measuring the effectiveness of those services;
  • offers techniques for designing services that directly serve the community while also achieving the outcomes the library has targeted; and
  • provides tips for sharing the results with stakeholders and maximizing successful outcome-based programs to leverage the library’s role in the community.
Featuring plentiful examples of how to proceed through each phase of the OBPE model, this book boils down planning and evaluation into an approachable, easy to understand process for public librarians, library managers, and grant writers.
Table of Contents


Chapter 1    Outcomes, Services and Programs, and OBPE
Chapter 2    Gathering Information
Chapter 3    Determining Outcomes
Chapter 4    Designing Programs and Services
Chapter 5    Evaluating Programs and Services
Chapter 6    Sharing Results
Appendix A    Community Assessment Environmental Scan: Internal (Library) Factors
Appendix B    Community Assessment Environmental Scan: External (Community) Factors
Appendix C    Community Assessment: Field Questions to Ask Yourself
Appendix D    Community Assessment: Sample Interview and Focus Group Questions
About the Authors

About the Authors

Melissa Gross is professor and doctoral program chair in the School of Information Studies at Florida State University and past president of the Association for Library and Information Science Education. She received her PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1998 and was awarded the prestigious American Association of University Women Recognition Award for Emerging Scholars in 2001. She has published extensively in the areas of information-seeking behavior, information literacy, library program and service evaluation, information resources for youth, and teacher/librarian collaboration.

Cindy Mediavilla is a lecturer for the UCLA Department of Information Studies. She is also a freelance consultant, who has evaluated and managed several grant-funded projects for public libraries throughout southern California, and is a popular workshop trainer. She is best known for her work on after-school homework programs and is the author of Creating the Full-Service Homework Center in Your Library (2001). Her master’s degree and doctorate in library science are both from UCLA.

Virginia A. Walter has retired from her work as a full-time tenured professor at the UCLA Department of Information Studies. However, she continues to teach classes and advise students at UCLA and is an active library consultant and trainer, who has been invited to speak at many domestic and international venues. She is the author of many journal articles, nine monographs, and two books for young people. She has an MLS from UC Berkeley and a PhD in public administration from the University of Southern California. She is a past president of the Association for Library Service to Children.

“Offers librarians a solid approach to begin conducting such assessment and to deliver valuable programming.”
— Catholic Library Association

”This book allows readers to move from goal-based thinking and planning to outcome-based planning and evaluation. Following the lessons of this book, public libraries will find it easier to move from traditional input and output measures to outcome statements. Following this process will enable libraries to use valid results to drive the development of future programs and services. As a library director, I found this book to be thought-provoking and inspiring. It was an easy read filled with a powerful plan of action."
— Technical Services Quarterly

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