Database Training (Olean Public Library)

Outcome-Based Evaluation
Best Practices in New York State

Database Training (Olean Public Library)

(Example illustrating Measurements)

This was and individual library project to provide database training. This is an excellent open-ended survey for patrons. The predictions were that following training the patrons would actually use the training for personal, educational, and health reasons. The open-ended survey finds out in the patron’s own words how their searching was useful to them.

The checklist that follows is an internal measurement instrument enabling project personnel to easily tally the actual uses and to record untended uses (not predicted but valid uses). The prediction was also that patrons would perform searches at least at the Level 2 of searching skills. The rubric is an internal instrument for easy tally of search levels of patron success with searching.

Patron Survey—Database use

Please answer the following questions as completely as possible.  All information is used to evaluate current programs and to secure future funding of similar programs.  All personal information remains private.

How did you find out about database searching?

If someone told you about it, who?

Have you done one or more database searches on your own since the librarian showed you how? 

If so did you do it in the library or elsewhere?

What information were you looking for?

What did you find?

How and where did you search?

How long did your search take?

How did you use the information you found?

Was the information you found accurate?

If no, how did you determine that?

On a scale of 0 to 5 (5 being most comfortable) how would you rate your comfort level using databases?

Will you continue to use databases to find information?

Have you suggested to someone else that they use databases to find information?

If so, what type of information was that person seeking?

Check list of database use to be charted:

Personal uses:

Educational uses


How to


Current events





Readers advisory

Money Management

Unintended Results


How to

Recommending reading

Job applications/resumes

Job enhancement

Career Choices

Continuing education choices/applications




Health care professionals


Unintended Personal Uses

Unintended Educational Uses

Unintended Health Uses

Rubric for checklist of database use:


Level One

Level Two

Level Three


Simple one answer to a single question

Use of 2 or more databases types

Questions moderately complex

Multiple uses


Uses databases routinely

Questions complex

Searches for multiple answers to questions



Single use for one purpose

Uses regularly to meet educational goals

Uses more than one database

Uses for multiple purposes

Uses to develop expertise in one or more areas

Does long term research


Seeks immediate direct answerer to one time question

Consults database regularly often for similar information

Consults multiple databases for a variety of simple questions

In depth research on a specific topic

Researches multiple areas of a questions

Seeks a variety of opinions


OBE Activities

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Certified OBE Trainers

OBE Training Plan

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Last Updated: June 3, 2009