Measurement, Evaluation and Assessment Committee – April–August 2019 Report

The group met 2-3 times this reporting period.

Recent Activities

First Activity
Spring 2019 Virtual Meeting: Updates on all work relevant to committee activities (Project Outcome – new health survey added, discussed results of University of Michigan study of existing PO data, ACRL's launch of Project Outcome for academic libraries; PLDS – how the pause for 2019 will be communicated to the field as well as overview of all-day meeting at Annual to discuss changes to the PLDS; Impact Survey – PLA will now manage this initiative).
Meets PLA’s strategic goals for Advocacy and Awareness, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice, Leadership, Organizational Excellence, Transformation

Second Activity
2019 ALA Annual Committee Meeting:

Discussed the following Project Outcome topics:

1) How to bring more libraries on and how to support the 10% of US public libraries already using the tool. Suggestions included an in-person presentation for COSLA, and targeted outreach to certain types of libraries that are less likely to be using PO, such as large city libraries.

2) Requests from public libraries to use some of the academic Project Outcome survey topics – in particular, space, and digital & special collections. At this time, the committee decided not to add these topics to PO for public libraries because some members thought that it was inappropriate to be measuring outcomes for space, and that if we tackle collections on the public side, we need to think more broadly than just digital & special collections.

3) Accessibility issues: PO users have reported that some patrons have trouble understanding/completing the surveys. The committee discussed simplifying the question language and response scales. PPO will be using PO surveys for their American Dream program, and we will get feedback from them regarding respondents' survey experiences.

We also received an update from Counting Opinions about the 2018 PLDS data collection. At the time of the meeting, the survey was still open, and the response rate was on track with past years.
Meets PLA’s strategic goals for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice, Leadership, Organizational Excellence

Third Activity
MEAC members met for a special, full-day meeting during Annual to discuss the future of the PLDS. An external facilitator – GMMB – planned and led the meeting. Committee members discussed topics including the purpose of PLA data collection, future trends that may impact public libraries (facilitated by Miguel Figueroa – ALA's Center for the Future of Libraries), various target audiences' data needs and challenges, what types of data and data tools public libraries need, and how to engage the field in discussions about the future of the PLDS.

Based on these discussions, the committee has developed an agenda for a series of town halls that will be conducted during the fall to engage the broader public library community in discussions about the future of the PLDS.
Meets PLA’s strategic goals for Leadership, Organizational Excellence

What will your group be working on for the next six months?
A primary focus will be the re-envisioning of the PLDS. The committee will conduct a series of in-person and virtual town halls to engage the field in discussions about this topic, and will work with PLA staff to develop a new data collection instrument/platform for public libraries.

Does the group have any policy recommendations, ideas with financial impact, or other items to bring to the PLA Board for discussion or action
Not at this time.

Do you have any suggestions for future products or resources (excluding conference programs) to be developed based on your group’s work?
Not at this time.

Are there other PLA/ALA committees your group might collaborate with to benefit the work of all?
ACRL Project Outcome, Committee on Research and Statistics

Have there been any issues related to meeting participation/attendance for any of the group’s members?

Is there anything PLA could have provided during this time that would have helped your group with its work?
No – thank you for your support.

Submitted by Linda Hofschire on 09/03/2019