Webinar Series: Evaluating and Sharing Your Library's Impact

WebJunction and OCLC Research /

Ensure your library’s programs and services are meeting patrons’ needs and exceeding expectations by using evaluation techniques that demonstrate results. This three-part webinar series on user-centered assessment and evaluation will help you go from gut instinct to data-supported proof.

Bringing together research and practice from across library sectors, the series covers the ins and outs of creating assessments that provide useful, actionable data. From figuring out what information you need for an effective assessment to applying your findings, the webinars feature experts who will teach you to evaluate your programs and services in a way that empowers you to meet the unique and evolving needs of your patrons and make the case for how your library plays a critical role in your community.

We have provided a learner guide with activities to complete between sessions to help you get the most out of the experience.

Who will benefit from this series?

Public, academic, or research library staff who

  • have never worked with data before,
  • have some experience but need a refresher, or
  • would like to learn how to best leverage assessment data to benefit their library.

Hashtag: #libdata4impact

Part 1: User-centered Assessment: Leveraging What You Know and Filling in the Gaps

Whether you’re trying to decide how to allocate your library’s resources or make the best use of your space, formal assessment tools can guide your decision-making. This session will cover why formal assessments are more effective than anecdotal data, and help you plan effective evaluations. You will learn how to use what you already know about your patrons, how to determine what information you still need, and how to formulate questions to get you there.

Presented by: Kara Reuter, PhD, Digital Library Manager, Worthington Libraries (OH)
Moderated and co-presented by: Lynn Silipigni Connaway, PhD, Senior Research Scientist and Director of User Research, OCLC Research

Part 2: Digging into Assessment Data: Tips, Tricks, and Tools of the Trade

You know what you want to know and how to ask the right questions. Now what? This session will delve into assessment tools and data collection methods—and how to choose the method that works best for you. You also will learn how to analyze your data and turn it into information your library can use. Don’t worry if using qualitative and quantitative data is new to you. You’ll gain the insight you need to use both with confidence.

Presented by: Linda Hofschire, PhD, Director, Library Research Service, Colorado State Library
Moderated and co-presented by: Lynn Silipigni Connaway, PhD, Senior Research Scientist and Director of User Research, OCLC Research

Part 3: Take Action: Using and Presenting Research Findings to Make Your Case

You’ve formulated the hard questions. You’ve collected your data. What stories do your findings tell, and what do they suggest? This final session explores how to present findings to your library’s key stakeholders and decision-makers in a compelling way, and how to turn those findings into action that benefits your patrons.

Presented by: Melissa Bowles-Terry, Head of Educational Initiatives, UNLV Libraries (NV)
Moderated by: Marie L. Radford, Professor of Library and Information Science, Rutgers University, School of Communication and Information

Image from top left, clockwise: Lynn Connaway, Kara Reuter, Linda Hofschire and Melissa Bowles-Terry