How can the library and librarians be more effective in helping? Outcomes depict where and how the library is achieving success and, by implication, where it is not. For example, the teachers in the ESOL program of the Queens Borough Public Library System, a widely endorsed English language program, observed that the program's beginning, intermediate, and advanced curricula did not meet the basic learning needs of students with limited or no experience in the classroom setting. In response, the program designed an introductory, basic literacy course to teach students how to hold a pen and how to write the alphabet, etc., as they progress through their English language learning.
Librarians can make strategic improvements and enhancements to their services by examining their outcomes, both positive and negative, to determine:
- What aspects of the program produce the kinds of outcomes sought?
- How might the library produce more of the most effective outcomes?
- Where did the program/service fall short of its goals? What aspects of the program need to be tweaked, changed or eliminated?
- Which unexpected outcomes would the library seek to foster?
You can bring answers to these, and other related questions, back to the planning table to enhance service or program delivery.