Health Happens in Libraries

Telling Your Library's Story: Establish Internal Goals for Monitoring and Discussing Your Impact

Many organizations are skilled at reflecting on their achievements after they have been accomplished. This reflection is critical for articulating impact. However, by identifying priority areas of influence and clarifying strategies to monitor those areas in advance of delivering services, your library can gather robust information to support decision making and tell your story even more powerfully. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a popular topic in the media, and one which many people hold strong and diverse opinions about. By establishing goals for impact related to ACA services, your library can bring clarity and community leadership to a very complex topic.

Identify and Document Your Library's Priorities

Identifying (and documenting) your library’s priorities in each of the following areas will create a clear pathway to effectively tell your story, as well as inform your efforts to clarify priorities for partnership.

  • How will ACA information services be provided at your library? This could include:
    • Through individual reference or referral requests;
    • By providing a customized libguide on the library website;
    • By designating computer space for application and enrollment;
    • By bringing in guest speakers or presenters for community information sessions;
    • Through partnerships with enrollment specialists.

  • In what ways do these services align with your library’s established strategic goals or community priorities?

  • What are the specific types of information you will monitor or collect related to these services, and what tools will you use to do so? This could include:
    • Documenting the number of completed reference or referral requests regarding ACA;
    • Reviewing web analytics for ACA information on library computers;
    • Verifying the number of attendees at information or enrollment events.

  • Who are the stakeholders that these services are intended to support? How will they be encouraged to provide feedback into the process?

  • To whom would you like to communicate the outcomes of your library ACA services, and for what purposes?

Enroll America provides a toolkit for Outreach Planning 2.0: Reaching and Engaging Consumers. This includes detailed checklists for organizations (including libraries) to plan their ACA service delivery in an intentional manner, and think proactively about indicators that can inform their stories.