Public libraries offer a broad range of vital community services: digital readiness training, preschool literacy education, employment counseling, workforce development, and outlets for creative expression and communication. Typically libraries rely on simple attendance counts and anecdotal success stories to measure the effectiveness of their services; however these statistics are not enough to guide internal strategy or build persuasive arguments to secure library funding. Enhancing existing service data with outcome data offers tremendous potential in many areas of the public library.
While some libraries have taken the initiative to do this on their own, there are no standard outcome measures widely in use. PLA leadership recognized this gap and saw an opportunity for the association to lead a wide-spread conceptual shift in the field by proactively developing and disseminating outcome measures and support tools.
This project is made possible by grant funds from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) administered by the State of Michigan through the Library of Michigan.
- PLA Project Outcome - find more information Project Outcome including background information and upcoming webinars
- "Project Outcome – Looking Back, Looking Forward," in Public Libraries Online.