ERIC Number: ED448787
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000
Reference Count: N/A
Perspectives on Outcome Based Evaluation for Libraries and Museums.
Institute of Museum and Library Services, Washington, DC.
If museums and libraries are to compete for both public and private funds in an accountability-driven environment, they must develop evaluation practices that provide the most compelling picture of the impact of their services. The two essays in this document present clear arguments for the adoption of a specific approach to evaluation known as outcome-based evaluation. They define a system of evaluation that replaces the question, "What have we done to accomplish our goals?" with the question "What has changed as a result of our work?" Taking their lead from evaluation practices adopted by the United Way in 1995, both authors suggest practices that focus on measuring the effects of an institution's work on its public (outcomes) rather than on the service provided (outputs). The first essay, "Transformed from a Cemetery of Bric-a-brac..." (Stephen E. Weil) describes the "second revolution" that is taking place in the American museum and the shift in focus on the collection as sole resource to the provision of a range of educational and other services available to be used for the accomplishment of a larger public purpose. The essay examines misconceptions and consequences that have emerged as museums cope with this second revolution. The second essay, "Documenting the Difference: Demonstrating the Value of Libraries through Outcome Measurement" (Peggy D. Rudd) describes the United Way's outcome measurement model, illustrating its usefulness for the library setting. In addition to the benefits libraries can gain from outcomes measurement, the essay outlines the potential problems. At the end of the document, a list of selected resources on formal program evaluation methods is provided. (AEF)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Institute of Museum and Library Services, Washington, DC.