Eliza T. Dresang is professor in the School of Information Studies at Florida State University. She served as Director of Library and Technology Services in the Madison, Wisconsin School District for 16 years.
- About the Authors
Anyone picking up this book will find both an informative framework and very specific how-to-do-it tips for planning and evaluating dynamic public library youth services.—Eliza T. Dresang, Melissa Gross, and Leslie Edmonds Holt from the Introduction
Can library programs and services make a difference in your young patrons' lives? Measuring outcomes is the way to find out! Incorporating outcome-based planning and evaluation is critical when developing new programs and services.
In this step-by-step patron-centered guide, three experts who have conducted extensive research and piloted this outcome-based program for youth in the St. Louis Public Library, share their findings and proven strategies. Smart planning in conjunction with measuring outcomes will:
- Generate results that support funding—be it governmental or grant-based
- Maximize user benefits
- Get buy-in and participation from young library users
- Improve communications between staff and customers, and among staffUsing this method, and selecting the level of effort, allows libraries to refine existing services and make program improvements incrementally, based on what their audience wants and needs.
Using this comprehensive, flexible and easily-tailored guide, youth librarians and administrators in public libraries will be able to integrate outcome measures into regular library processes, gaining immense benefits with minimal effort.
"The authors lead their colleagues in youth services through an assessment strategy that had success for the Youth Services Department of the St. Louis Public Library. Using a new paradigm of planning--Project CATE: Children's Access to and Use of Technology Evaluation--they advise librarians to begin with desired outcomes based upon community analysis and market research and demonstrate the necessity for focus groups. A bibliography and charts are included, and sample data-collection instruments are provided in an appendix. The book gives a clear and concise method for conducting an assessment to refine services and is recommended for public libraries and academic libraries with library and information science programs."