Outcome-Based Evaluation: Best Practices Examples

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (the federal agency that manages and distributes LSTA funds to the states) strongly suggests that an outcome-based evaluation (OBE) showing outputs (quantitative measures) and outcomes (impact/qualitative measures) be used on most projects using LSTA funds.

Outcomes must represent a change in knowledge, skill, attitude, or behavior. The outcomes reported must be measurable. More information on OBE can be found on the State Library's website at: www.nysl.nysed.gov/libdev/obe/

The following are examples of good outcomes as they were reported in the 2007 & 2008 Summer Reading Mini Grants and how they were measured.

1) 75% of children/parents will report that they are satisfied or very satisfied with themed reading activities offered by member libraries. (attitude)

MEASURE: Informal surveys of parent/child attendees after completion/award of each reading certificate accompanied by actual comments

2) 75% of workshop attendees will self report on a Likert scale that they feel "confident" or "very confident" providing program- related crafts to children as the result of an introductory session with a consultant. (attitude, behavior)

MEASURE: Final reports from workshop attendees indicated that 95% conducted related craft programs, accompanied by actual comments

3) 85% of the audiences will enjoy summer reading mini grant programs

MEASURE: survey of program audiences (attitude, behavior)

4) 75% of the summer reading mini grant program audience will learn something new

MEASURE: survey of program audiences (knowledge, skill)

5) At least 10% more children will participate in the summer reading program than did in the previous year

MEASURE: Statistics (attitude, behavior)

6) Library staff in 34 libraries created community partnerships to increase library attendance and library visibility in the community

MEASURE: Community partnerships reported on final reports (behavior, attitude)

7) Library staff reported new knowledge and increased skills after attending a summer reading/youth services workshop

MEASURE: Surveys, programs reported on final report (knowledge, skill)

If you have questions concerning OBE, please contact Mary Linda Todd by calling (518)486-4858.

OBE Best Practices home page | Go to Library Development home page

Last Updated: October 28, 2014