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NCompass Live: Project Outcome: Measuring the True Impact of Public Libraries

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NCompass Live - March 1, 2017

Are your patrons actually benefiting from the programs and services you provide? If so, how can you prove it? The Public Library Association's latest initiative, Project Outcome, is a FREE online toolkit, offering an innovative and easy-to-use platform for public libraries to measure the impact of their programs and services. Library staff are able to easily measure patron outcomes using the field-tested surveys, quickly analyze their data using ready-made reports and an interactive data dashboard, and take action using the results. This session demonstrates what Project Outcome measures, what is included in the online toolkit, and how libraries of all shapes and sizes can utilize Project Outcome to measure their impact and affect change within their community. Burnsville (WV) Public Library will highlight their experience using Project Outcome.

Presenters: Beth Anderson, Director, Burnsville (WV) Public Library; Samantha Lopez, Project Coordinator, Public Library Association.

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NCompass Live: Project Outcome: Measuring the True Impact of Public Libraries

  1. 1. NCompass Live: Project Outcome March 1, 2017
  2. 2. YOUR INDISPENSABLE ALLY W W W. P L A . O R G Public libraries create possibility. PLA is the indispensable ally for the people who shape that possibility – the public library leaders and staff who invite anyone in to learn, do, and grow.
  3. 3. WHAT WE DO • Membership • Continuing Education • Leadership Development • PLA Conference • Advocacy • Tools, Resources, Publications • Digital Literacy • • Family Engagement • Every Child Ready to Read • Partnership w/ Harvard Family Research Project • Performance Measurement • Project Outcome
  4. 4. Today’s Speakers Samantha Lopez Project Coordinator Public Library Association Beth Anderson Director Burnsville (WV) Public Library
  5. 5. Agenda  Why Measure Outcomes?  Project Outcome Toolkit  Take Action Using Results  Small Library Perspective: Burnsville Public Library  Q&A
  6. 6. What is Project Outcome? It’s all FREE!
  7. 7. Why Measure Outcomes?  Times have changed  Intuition is not enough  Attendance counts are not enough  Anecdotes are not enough Libraries need more data & evidence to show their impact
  8. 8. Why Measure Outcomes? Needs Assessment Patron Satisfaction Outputs Outcomes
  9. 9. Why Measure Outcomes? Needs Assessment Patron Satisfaction Outputs Outcomes
  10. 10. What is an Outcome? Specific benefit from a library program/service Can be quantitative or qualitative Expressed as changes that individuals perceive Answers the question: What good did we do?
  11. 11. What is an Outcome?
  12. 12. What is an Outcome?
  13. 13. Why Measure Outcomes?
  14. 14. Why Project Outcome?  You’ve been told you should measure outcomes  You understand why they’re important  You need to better tell your library’s story  You need a more consistent way to measure  Why reinvent the wheel?
  15. 15. Project Outcome Toolkit
  16. 16. Project Outcome Toolkit  Quick & simple surveys  Easy-to-use Survey Portal  Ready-made data reports  Visually interactive Data Dashboards  Resources & training It’s all FREE!
  17. 17. Task Force  Task Force charged with development and testing of patron-facing surveys  Task Force is made up of a diverse group of public libraries, state libraries, and researchers throughout the country
  18. 18. Survey Topic Areas
  19. 19. Survey Questions Outcomes:  KNOWLEDGE  CONFIDENCE  BEHAVIOR CHANGE  AWARENESS + What did patrons like most? + What can the library do to improve?
  20. 20. Survey Tools Immediate Survey Patron- Reported Learning Follow-Up Survey Patron- Reported Adoption Outcome Measurement Guidelines Long-Term Impact
  21. 21. Immediate Survey  Patron-Reported Learning  Open-Ended Feedback  Immediate Impact  End of Program  Less Staff Time
  22. 22. Using Immediate Survey Outcomes  Assess immediate impact of a program/service  Inform program/service changes  Provide a “snapshot” for advocacy and reporting
  23. 23. Follow-Up Survey  Patron-Reported Adoption  Open-Ended Feedback  Change of Behavior  4-8 Weeks Later  More Staff Time
  24. 24. Using Follow-Up Survey Outcomes  Assess impact of a program/service after some period of time  Inform internal planning  Measure progress toward strategic goals  Provide evidence for advocacy
  25. 25. Survey Outcomes Immediate Follow-Up I feel more confident about the job search process… I will use what I learned today in the job search process… I received an interview or offer for a new job… I used what I learned to search for a job in new or different way…
  26. 26. Outcome Measurement Guidelines • Measuring long-term community impact • Data collection methods determined by library and/or external partner • Outcome Measurement Guidelines available in 2017
  27. 27. Project Outcome Website
  28. 28.
  29. 29.
  30. 30. Survey Portal
  31. 31. Survey Reports
  32. 32.
  33. 33. Data Dashboard
  34. 34. Data Dashboard
  35. 35. Data Dashboard
  36. 36. Data Dashboard
  37. 37. Benefits of Project Outcome  Short & simple surveys = higher response rates  Capturing snapshot data  Open-ended comments are goldmine  At your own pace: pick & choose surveys based on program, capacity, and learning objectives
  38. 38. Benefits of Project Outcome  The ready-made reports & data dashboards do the heavy lifting for you  Standardization of outcome measures  Aggregate, national score comparisons
  39. 39. Project Outcome Roadmap
  40. 40. Take Action Using Results
  41. 41. Take Action Using Results Program Improvements
  42. 42. Take Action Using Results Strategic Planning
  43. 43. Take Action Using Results Communication Library Board StaffPatrons Community
  44. 44. Take Action Using Results Partnership  As part regional partnership to reduce poverty  Begin school partnership discussions to stop the summer slide  Partnering with a community college to off better/more advanced business development classes
  45. 45. Take Action Using Results Grant Funding  Summer Reading Dollar General Grant  Friends of the Library grant for STEAM trunk  LSTA reporting
  46. 46. Small Library Perspective: Burnsville Public Library
  47. 47. Burnsville Public Library Population of Service Area: 3,769 Annual Operating Expenditures: $33,365 Number of Libraries: 1 FTE Staff: 1.03
  48. 48. Burnsville Public Library
  49. 49. Surveys Collected  Summer Reading Caregiver  6/17 – 8/31  2 surveys collected  Summer Reading Teen/Child  6/17 – 8/31  3 surveys collected  Digital Learning  6/17 – 7/15  4 surveys collected
  50. 50. Programs Measured  Basic Computer Skills Class  On Your Mark, Get Set, Read! 2016 Summer Reading Program
  51. 51. Survey Results: Basic Computer Skills “It would be great if they could continue to do classes during the year” “Very helpful to me, because (I am wrong generation computerilliterate)”
  52. 52. Results: Summer Reading Caregiver Of the respondents, 100% reported their child:  maintained or increased their reading skills  is a more confident reader  reads more often  uses the library more often Offer homework help Offer a peer to peer reading program
  53. 53. Results: Summer Reading Teen/Child Of the children or teens respondents:  67% learned something new from what they read or experienced  100% enjoy reading more  67% read more often  100% want to use the library more often Read more books to us Have another pizza party to invite other kids to Do silly stuff
  54. 54. What Did We Learn?  Our adult population is interested in programs  Staff will try to fit more read aloud books into next year’s program  Due to the responses, staff is working to develop a Homework Help/Tutoring program, as well as other reading/STEM programs
  55. 55. What Can We Change?  Staff needs to do a better job getting participants to fill out the surveys  Programs will be developed/tweaked as surveys/results are submitted for ongoing programs  Need to take advantage of the computerized surveys  Use results to leverage additional funding
  56. 56. What’s Next?
  57. 57. Updates & Announcements
  58. 58. Project Outcome in the Field 3,000+ registered users representing 1,500+ public libraries
  59. 59. Project Outcome in the Field 48,000+ patrons surveyed
  60. 60. Regional Training Workshop Targeted to: library directors, managers, supervisors or staff who will be responsible for managing or overseeing Project Outcome Includes:  One full-day, in-person workshop  Two 90-minute online meetings  Expert trainer and workshop materials
  61. 61. Upcoming Webinar FREE monthly webinars! Money Smart, Measure Smarter: Boost Your Financial Literacy Programs & Measure Their Impact March 16, 1-2 PM Central memoneysmart
  62. 62. Free Preconference Workshop! June 23rd 9 AM – 4 PM
  63. 63. PLA @ ARSL Association for Rural & Small Libraries Conference St. George, Utah September 7, 2017
  64. 64. New Survey Portal Coming Soon!  New portal launching May 1st  More survey customization  Ability to add up to 3 questions  Easier survey management (edit, delete, archive)  Custom report building
  65. 65. What’s Next  Register for FREE at  Review training resources  Schedule a survey in the Survey Portal  Analyze Data Dashboards  Join the Facebook group  Follow Project Outcome on Twitter  Engage on Community of Practice #ProjectOutcome
  66. 66. Community of Practice
  67. 67. Questions? Samantha Lopez Project Coordinator Public Library Association Beth Anderson Director Burnsville (WV) Public Library
  68. 68. Thank you!