Presented by Kristen Mastel & Shannon Farrell July 19, 2017.
Outreach is a facet of many of our jobs. Over time, library job descriptions have been adjusted to include outreach, whether this includes targeting departments, student populations, or the surrounding community. Libraries have attempted to connect with their users through a variety of activities and strategies. However, how do we ensure our outreach activities are impactful? Assessment has also become more important over time, since many library budgets have shrunk and we are often asked to do more with less. It is imperative that we can justify the amount of time, energy, and money required for outreach activities. Determining in advance what impact we want to make dictates what types of events we hold. Further, better assessment leads to a better understanding of the impact of our activities. Much of the library literature shares strategies for reaching out to campus communities; however, there is a lack of discussion around goal-oriented activities and if these activities reached their goals through assessment.
In this session, learn how to write SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Bound) outreach goals that are tied to your institutional mission and how to apply various assessment techniques that will evaluate if your goals are being met. Assessment techniques will address various factors, including amount of time and/or funding required, amount of staffing involved, and type of data produced (qualitative or quantitative). Attendees will also learn about the limitations of each assessment method. Participants will be asked to share their previous experience with goal-writing and assessment of outreach and will work through case studies that illustrate a particular scenario with concrete goals and ways to accurately assess the identified outreach activity. Attendees will be provided materials to bring back to their institution to apply what they learned using a previous or upcoming local outreach event.