As I mentioned earlier this month, I conducted a Basic Outcome-Based Evaluation (OBE) Workshop in Utica last week, sponsored by the New York State Library. I want to thank the Mid York Library System for hosting and all of the participants.
We had a terrific group – all came ready to work and share! As a trainer, I love a talkative group. We learned so much from each other and many had great suggestions for others’ projects.
Nice job, everyone! Best wishes on your OBE endeavors. It was a pleasure!
Unfortunately, I won’t be able to make it to this year’s New York Library Association (NYLA) Conference. It’s always a good time – lots of networking and learning opportunities!
I thought I’d share info about an evaluation-related course being offered:
Flipped on Assessment
November 5, 2014
Saratoga Springs, NY
Assessment meets active learning. Following our introductory keynote speakers and panel discussion, facilitators will lead an active learning class organized around needs assessment, developing outcomes/logic model (including exercises), and next steps. How do you determine what to assess? How do you create outcomes? Then what–i.e., what do you do with this information and how do you present it to communicate your value and impact?
Sounds like a great one! Check out the following link for more info:
Years ago when I was in the midst of my information science coursework, I attended a family reunion. An older uncle (a well-educated, family man) shared with me that he had heard I was entering the library field. He said: Libraries are great. It’s just too bad they’re dying in this computer age…that librarians are a dying profession.
I was shocked! He thought I was taking a full course load and working two jobs just to get into a dying profession…? So I proceeded to tell him all about the reinvention of libraries – of libraries as thriving community centers, cutting-edge information technology hubs, and trusted institutions of lifelong learning. I was determined to rid his mind of that old stereotypical image of rows and rows of dusty stacks and Shhhh! signs. It turns out my uncle hadn’t been to his local public library in twenty or so years, and he promised me that he would visit soon.
Unfortunately, I’ve encountered these false beliefs and old, outdated memories of libraries on multiple occasions since. Why do we need libraries if we now have computers, the Internet, and Google?Do people really use libraries anymore?
Kudos to The Atlantic. It’s very helpful when mainstream articles like the one above spread the word about today’s AMAZING (and far from dying!) libraries.
From time to time, I hope to use this blog to share evaluation tips, tricks, and lessons learned. As a trainer since 2005, I’ve had the opportunity to identify the common mistakes participants make when learning Outcome-Based Evaluation (OBE). Unfortunately, a misstep when writing outcomes and developing a logic model can take you in the wrong direction and lead to ineffective planning and evaluation (and let’s face it – lots of frustration!).
So here we go…
Today’s tip is a basic one, but incredibly important. A key element of OBE is that it is target audience-focused. What does that mean? Well, in order to use OBE to evaluate a program or service, the program or service must aim to change the target audience in some way. For example, the program intends to change the audience’s attitude, knowledge, skills, behavior, etc.
So let’s say, for instance, you are offering an introductory workshop for seniors on blogging. One possible outcome: Seniors set up, customize, and post to their own blogs. Notice that the focus is solely on the audience and their skills and behavior. Notice that the outcome is NOT about what the library or organization is doing.
I’ve seen several training participants get tripped up here. They’ll tell me all about their great program and what it is the library will be offering. But they’re not telling me anything about the impact they aim to achieve.
Remember: OBE is all about measuring the impact your programs and services have on the target audience.
The National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) is a fantastic resource when it comes to anything and everything that relates to providing consumer health information. Here’s their Health Literacy page, which includes a lengthy list of additional resources and references:
Health literacy is defined as the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information needed to make appropriate health decisions and services needed to prevent or treat illness.
As both a librarian and registered nurse, the provision of consumer health information in libraries has always been of special interest to me. Libraries are key in supporting and encouraging improved health literacy in our communities. I invite you to check out the Health Literacy Month website for resources to help you plan related programs and events (to note, access to some costs a small fee). Screen shot below.
When was the last time you had uninterrupted time (hours!) dedicated to planning a library program – from assessment through evaluation? Maybe…never, right?
Well, I’m pleased to announce that I will be conducting a Basic Outcome-Based Evaluation (OBE) Workshop at the Mid-York Library System in Utica on October 16th and 17th, sponsored by the New York State Library. Participants will learn how to write measurable, relevant outcomes (think IMPACT!) and develop complete logic models for selected projects. Discussion will include real-world application of OBE in many types of libraries. The training is also FREE with lunch provided.
Welcome to my brand new (and still in progress!) website. Thank you for stopping by. I’ve designed a new, more descriptive banner for AmaLat Consulting, added a bio, and of course, a blog!
I am most excited about the blog as it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for some time. As a consultant, I come across many useful resources and innovative projects. I wanted a place to share them, as well as the things I’ve been up to.
Please feel free to leave comments and suggestions. I would love to hear from you.