Project Outcome - Looking Back, Looking Forward

January 20, 2016

Looking Back

What started from the work of the Performance Measurement Task Force (PMTF), established during my 2013 Public Library Association (PLA) presidency, has now become a full-fledged PLA service known as Project Outcome, providing over 900 registered users with the outcome measurement tools, resources and support needed to measure the true impact of their library services and programs. Over 200 public libraries are currently using the Project Outcome survey tools to measure the outcomes of at least one program or service and nearly 5,000 surveys have been aggregated into the Project Outcome Data Dashboards. In just six short months after launching in June, Project Outcome has quickly met the public library demand and desire for standardized performance measures and continues to expand toward more advanced data collection. 

My 2014 Public Libraries Online article Moving Toward Outcomes highlights the importance of understanding why outcome measurement is essential to enhancing the ever-changing roles of libraries. Looking back on this year of introducing outcome measurement to a vast range of public library audiences, it is clear that the shift toward making outcome measurement standard practice is in full swing. Working on the planning development of Project Outcome at the 2015 American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting in Chicago, we established the project’s goals, what the tools would look like, and how users would be supported so they could easily implement outcome measurement within their own libraries. Almost a year later, the Task Force is already working on the next set of advanced measures. PLA has presented Project Outcome at six different conferences, while simultaneously conducting 9 webinars to nearly 1,000 attendees on various outcome measurement topics and will continue to expand its reach throughout 2016.


To read the full article, visit Public Libraries Online