Resource Allocation Table
Should decisions makers shift funds, staff, or other resources toward or away from the service? Librarians well understand the challenge of resource allocation. In an age of budget shortfalls, to invest in one service means to divest in another. Outcomes can help librarians to make wise resource decisions as they indicate the benefits and consequences of particular investments. You can use the tables of outcomes that they developed in Step 3: Analyzing Data (3) in order to determine how best to (re)allocate resources, as seen in this example from the Queens Borough Public Library:
Due to increased demands, need:
- More teachers/tutors
- More space
- More materials
|Outcome: Immigrants increase English language oral and written communication skills
- Immigrants improve their English language communication skills through literacy and ESOL programs tailored to meet their needs.
|Activities that foster increases in English language communication skills
- Fair and regular registration
- Tailored Classes tailored to meet student needs at basic, beginning, intermediate and advanced levels
- Personalized attention at Adult Learning Centers
- Multimedia, English-language collection development to support ESOL and literacy curricula
- Tutor training
- Low tutor/teacher - student ratio
- Conversation groups
|Inputs that foster increases in English language communication skills
- Wide distribution of classes throughout the borough
- Specialized staff
- Knowledge of TOEFL exam
|Related user needs
- To feel secure in the learning process
- To improve English language skills
- To learn to read and write in English
Once you understand where new resources are needed, you can further consider:
- Where should new resources (staff, funds, volunteers, donations of food, etc.) come from?
- Do resources need to be moved from one aspect of the service to another?
- Is there a need for consolidation or other organizational change?
- Can collaborators be identified that can contribute (share) resources?
- Is the service worth the resources that are being put into it?
Evaluation inputs, such as staff training and time, space, and materials, represent a noteworthy investment by and for the library. The product of the evaluation, the outcomes set, constitutes an initial return on the library's investment, one that can be widely leveraged to enhance the library's marketing, accountability measures, programs and services, and resource allocation, and one that can continue to maximize returns as libraries integrate outcome-based evaluation into their operations.
Institute for Museum and Library Services (2002). 2002 National Awards for Museum and Library Service [Brochure- Electronic version]. Washington, DC: Author. (Available from http://www.imls.gov/pubs/pdf/2002awards.pdf)
Ross, J. (1995). Sending a message: Marketing your library for maximum impact. Library Mosaics, 6, 16.
Seiss, J. (2003) The visible librarian: Asserting your value with marketing and advocacy. Chicago: American Library Association.