Breakout: Outcomes and Beyond: A 3-Step Approach to Evaluating Program Success

25 Jul 2023
1:15 pm-3:45 pm

Breakout: Outcomes and Beyond: A 3-Step Approach to Evaluating Program Success

You put a lot of effort into developing public-facing programs for your community, but how do you know whether these programs are successful? 

In this session, you will learn a 3-step process for evaluating your public-facing programs. First, you will learn to specify what “success” looks like for your library and community. This often reflects the desired outcomes of the program (outcomes are changes in participants’ knowledge, skills, attitude, behavior, condition, or life status). You will also learn how to consider additional dimensions of success, such as equity, relevance, sustainability, and more, so that you can capture a more complete picture of your program’s success.

Second, you will learn to develop a logic model that depicts the relationship between the resources you invest in your program, program attendance and other outputs, and your desired outcomes. Your logic model will help you determine whether all of the necessary components are in place to achieve success.

Third, you will learn how to create a plan to measure the multiple dimensions of success that are relevant for your program and the types of data you need to collect to measure success. 

You will get the most out of this session if you come with a public-facing program or service in mind that you are interested in evaluating. Here are some examples of public-facing programs/services: 

  • ESL tutoring
  • Outreach to senior centers
  • Digital literacy program series
  • Early literacy storytimes

This session is recommended for participants who have some experience evaluating public-facing programs and services and want to further deepen their skills. If you are new to program evaluation we recommend participating in the RIPL 101: Count Your Impact – Getting Started With Outcome-Based Evaluation session.

This session is sponsored by Embedding Evaluation in Libraries as part of its Institute of Museum and Library Services grant.