Project Outcome is a national statistical measurement program designed by the Public Library Association (PLA) that helps the Fletcher Free Library understand the impact of essential library services and programs in our community. By participating in this project, the Fletcher Free Library will easily be able to benchmark against other libraries across the same impact areas.
Measuring impact is important because it tells another story that the output numbers often do not. By asking library patrons and program participants specific questions about how library services affect their lives, we can determine if (and how) we are meeting the needs of the community. By administering shorter surveys more often, we can get valuable feedback for service improvement, too.
Right now we appear to be on par with other libraries in the U.S. that are a part of Project Outcome. There will be more surveys done in the early and late Fall of 2017.
Project Outcome surveys ask patrons or program participants four basic questions that center around seven areas of impact. The impact areas are:
- Civic/community engagement
- Digital inclusion
- Early childhood literacy
- Economic development
- Education and lifelong learning
- Job skills
- Summer reading
The four questions, which are tailored to different areas of library services, are:
- Did I learn something new?
- Did I gain confidence in something?
- Did I change a behavior?
- Did I gain a new awareness about library resources?
Survey answers are entered into the project site and data can then be compared nationally.