[PL-Directors] Why are Project Outcome’s survey questions so simple?

Katie Anderson katie.anderson at state.or.us
Mon Dec 14 11:51:34 PST 2015

Hi! One of you asked a great question about Project Outcome<https://www.projectoutcome.org/>, and I think many of you may be interested in the answer. If you don’t remember what Project Outcome is, it’s new so that’s okay! Just scroll to the bottom of this email to read my original email about it.

Q: Why are Project Outcome’s survey questions so simple?

A1: The purpose of Project Outcome is to create surveys that are short and simple yet collect useful data. ALA’s Public Library Association worked with a task force of experts<https://www.projectoutcome.org/surveys-resources/meet-the-performance-measurement-task-force> to figure out how many questions we need to ask, what types of questions we need to ask, and how detailed those questions need to be in order to get the data we need without overwhelming us and our patrons.

A2: There are only four simple questions about outcomes per survey to allow for the data to be used in a variety of ways. The survey for each of the seven service area asks if patrons changed their knowledge, behavior, awareness, and skills/application. You can look at the survey results to examine how your library is doing by service area. For example, you can ask, “How are we doing on our digital inclusion services?” Looking at the results of the digital inclusion survey, we notice most of our patrons are changing their awareness, knowledge, and skills/application but they aren’t changing their behavior. When you look at the data this way it looks pretty good, your achieving three of the four outcomes for digital inclusion. Good job!

However, the simple survey design allows you to also ask, “How are we doing on changing patrons behavior across all seven service areas?” Looking at the results of only the behavior question on all seven service area surveys, we notice that we aren’t changing patrons behavior in any of the seven service areas. Now we can see that while we’re doing okay with our digital inclusion services overall, we are not doing a good job changing patrons behavior anywhere in the library. With this information you can start planning specifically how to change patrons behaviors.

Please let me know if you have any more questions.


Katie Anderson, Youth Services Consultant
Library Support and Development Services<http://www.oregon.gov/osl/LD/pages/index.aspx>
Oregon State Library, 250 Winter St. NE, Salem, OR 97301
katie.anderson at state.or.us<mailto:katie.anderson at state.or.us>, 503-378-2528
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From: PL-Directors [mailto:pl-directors-bounces at listsmart.osl.state.or.us] On Behalf Of Katie Anderson
Sent: Thursday, November 05, 2015 9:25 AM
To: (pl-directors at listsmart.osl.state.or.us)
Subject: [PL-Directors] Frustrated by outcome based evaluation? Project Outcome is a no-cost resource that may help!

If you answer “yes” to any of the following questions, then Project Outcome might be right for you!

·         Do you have anxiety about conducting a proper outcome based evaluation?

·         Does your library need to do outcome based evaluation, but you don’t have the time or resources to do it from scratch?

·         Are you struggling to find a good survey tool to gather information about your programs for outcome based evaluation reports?

·         Are you unsure how to effectively analyze and present the results of an outcome based evaluation?

·         Are you considering paying to subscribe to Impact Survey?

Project Outcome is free until at least 2017 (maybe longer!) and also gives you free access to Impact Survey starting on November 12, 2015.

Learn more and sign-up: https://www.projectoutcome.org/

Questions? Contact: Project Outcome staff via phone 312-280-5857 or this email form: https://www.projectoutcome.org/contacts/new

If you want more information about how Project Outcome aligns with what’s going on in the Oregon library community, read on! If not, skip the rest of this email.

Project Outcome evaluates four desired outcomes across seven types of library services and programs. The four outcomes evaluated are patrons’ changes in 1) knowledge, 2) skills, 3) behavior, and 4) attitude as a result of using library services. The seven library service areas these four outcomes are evaluated in are:

·         Civic/community engagement

·         Digital inclusion

·         Early childhood literacy

·         Economic development

·         Education and lifelong learning

·         Job skills

·         Summer reading

As an Oregon public library, you might use Project Outcome to conduct outcome based evaluations associated with:

·         Edge Initiative (digital inclusion, education and lifelong learning, job skills)

·         Ready to Read grant (early childhood literacy, summer reading)

·         Statewide databases (education and lifelong learning, job skills)

·         Optional: Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) competitive grants (Project Outcome service areas would vary depending on your LSTA grant)

Questions about using Project Outcome for statewide programs? Contact:

·         Darci Hanning, darci.hanning at state.or.us<mailto:darci.hanning at state.or.us> (Edge Initiative)

·         Katie Anderson, katie.anderson at state.or.us<mailto:katie.anderson at state.or.us> (Ready to Read)

·         Arlene Weible, arlene.weible at state.or.us<mailto:arlene.weible at state.or.us> (Statewide Database Licensing Program)

·         Ann Reed, ann.reed at state.or.us<mailto:ann.reed at state.or.us> (LSTA)


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