PLA releases first Project Outcome Annual Report

November 01, 2016

Mon, 10/31/2016



Samantha Lopez
Project Coordinator
Public Library Association (PLA)

CHICAGO – The Public Library Association (PLA) has launched the first Project Outcome Annual Report. Access the 2016 Annual Report to analyze survey results, learn what patrons benefited from most, and see what Project Outcome and participating libraries did in the first year to make Project Outcome a success.
PLA’s Project Outcome is a FREE toolkit designed to help public libraries understand and share the true impact of essential library services and programs by providing simple surveys and an easy-to-use process for measuring and analyzing outcomes. Project Outcome also provides libraries with the resources and training support needed to apply their results and confidently advocate for their library’s future, helping them turn better data into better libraries. To learn more about Project Outcome and to register for free, visit
Since launching in June 2015, Project Outcome has had over 2,000 participants representing over 1,000 public libraries across the U.S. and Canada register to be a part of this initiative. The Project Outcome system has aggregated over 40,000 patron surveys and is just getting started. 
Through Project Outcome, the library field is learning more than ever about the benefits that library patrons see in their own lives. Data collected from the first year of Project Outcome tell us unequivocally that library programs and services improve the lives of their patrons. People come to the library not just for books, but for programs that will help them learn a new skill or make a specific change in their lives. Within the first year, Project Outcome aggregated over 17,000 patron surveys. Nearly 80% of those library users surveyed report that library programs and services have had some kind of positive impact on their lives in the last year.
In addition, PLA learned that what patrons like most about the programs they’re attending is the educational aspect – from doing a new activity, to learning a new skill, to the librarian or instructor’s style of teaching. And these patron benefits are in high demand. Across every program type, the most common suggestion for improvement was to offer new, more frequent, or more current classes and programs. 
Project Outcome is just getting started. Like the hundreds of libraries that now have outcomes data to guide their strategy and support their advocacy, PLA is taking what they have learned to increase the impact of outcome measurement on libraries and communities everywhere. Project Outcome will continue to develop new and improved tools and resources to help libraries move from planning and implementing surveys to taking action using the results. Project Outcome will continue to work with libraries to build momentum and sustainability. From offering regional training and one-on-one library assistance, to building data-sharing partnerships, to expanding its work with state library staff and other types of libraries, Project Outcome will keep looking for opportunities to improve. 
The Public Library Association (PLA) is the largest association dedicated to supporting the unique and evolving needs of public library professionals. Founded in 1944, PLA serves nearly 9,000 members in public libraries large and small in communities across the United States and Canada, with a growing presence around the world. PLA strives to help its members shape the essential institution of public libraries by serving as an indispensable ally for public library leaders. For more information about PLA, contact the PLA office at 1 (800) 545-2433, ext.5PLA, or