project outcome

PLA's Project Outcome — Results in Action

PLA's Project Outcome

Editor's Introduction

Samantha Lopez works on the Public Library Association's (PLA's) Project Outcome. Project Outcome is a free online toolkit designed to help public libraries understand and share the impact of essential library services and programs. The toolkit offers simple surveys and an easy-to-use process for measuring and analyzing outcomes. Project Outcome also provides libraries with the resources and training needed to apply their results and confidently advocate for their library's future. We want to raise awareness about this excellent free resource by showing a bit of what it can do.

This article is an excerpt of a larger piece by PLA's expert in measuring library outcomes, Samantha Lopez. It first appeared in PLA's Public Libraries magazine (PDF) and is reprinted here by permission of the author and PLA.

Five Questions You Might Have About Measuring Outcomes

Among Americans who visited a library in 2012, one in five attended a class, lecture, or program for adults. Did those visitors enjoy the program? Did they learn something from it? Will they attend another program like that? Or was it not what they expected? Unless you have psychic powers, you won't know what your patrons got out of a program or service unless you ask.

TechSoup for Libraries recently teamed up with the Public Library Association (PLA) on a webinar that gave an overview of outcome measurement from Project Outcome. This new program from PLA provides simple tools for libraries to measure programs across seven common service areas. The webinar also featured a Project Outcome user from a small library. Our webinar speakers were:

  • Samantha Lopez, Project Outcome in Chicago, Illinois
  • Robyn Truslow, Calvert Library in Prince Frederick, Maryland