Annual Reports & Evaluations
Wherever public libraries are working, possibility lives.
People who work in public libraries know that library services open new opportunities for anyone who enters — putting people on the path to literacy, technological know-how, or a better job. We see evidence of this every day — what libraries have long been missing is meaningful outcome data to support it.
Project Outcome is designed to help public libraries understand and share the impact of their programs and services by providing simple surveys and an easy-to-use process for measuring and analyzing patron outcomes. The results can be used to demonstrate the value of library services, make improvements, determine how to allocate limited resources, and increase funding and partnership opportunities.
Project Outcome: Insights for Adopting the Model
Like Project Outcome, this white paper, developed by ORS Impact, is part of the legacy of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Libraries initiative, which involved 20 years of collaboration with libraries and field organizations and investments of more than $1 billion globally to enhance the power of libraries to improve lives. The Public Library Association (PLA) is one of three partners entrusted with this legacy, part of which is a commitment to knowledge sharing that will propel the field forward. The purpose of this paper is to share insights into the development and evolution of Project Outcome to aid others in adopting similar field-driven models. The story of Project Outcome is told here in four parts. First, the context and origin of the initiative is described; second, the guiding principles of its initial development and evolution; third, key decisions; and finally, best practices.
Project Outcome: Year in Review
Review the Annual Reports below to discover annual statistics, project updates, and highlights from the public library field.
Project Outcome Evaluation Results
As part of a three-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, PLA hired ORS IMPACT to conduct ongoing evaluations of Project Outcome. The evaluation results from 2015-2017 are below.