The Information Infrastructure for New York State, an initiative sponsored and coordinated by Empire State Library Network, included several opportunities for input and participation by leaders in the library and archive environments in the State.  A 2-day Summit in the Fall of 2012, followed by a statewide survey, and concluding with a “Reality Check” meeting of a select number of industry leaders in the Spring of 2013 resulted in a final report–   “I2NY:  Envisioning an Information Structure for New York State.”  (May 2013)

Empire State Library Network is establishing working groups to take the lead on each of the initiatives identified in the I2NY Final Report.  While ESLN will assume a coordination/facilitation role, it was understood by the groups that this and other I2NY projects will be most successful through the continuing participation of many members of the library and cultural heritage communities.

Outcomes & Assessment Priority.  A priority that was articulated in the Summit, survey, “Reality Check” meeting was “outcomes and assessment,” i.e., how well library services are connected to patron needs and student outcomes. This was seen as important at every level of school and academic library, as well as in the public library for lifelong learners and researchers. This also ties into demonstrating the value of the library and return on investment (ROI).

This working group will be coordinated by Mary-Carol Lindbloom, Executive Director of the South Central Regional Library Council.

On the survey “connecting library services to student outcomes” was rated as important or very important 76.2% overall; 86.8% academic; 66.6% public; 58.8% special. “Assessing the value of library services for funders”: 67.3% overall; 73.5% academic; 100% public; 58.8% special. This might also be reflected in the importance ranking of:

  • Q. 5 (Importance to user) Information literacy instruction (71.5% all; 85.9% academic; 100% public; 36.9% special)
  • Q. 14 (Benefits of statewide) Return on investment (44.3%)

Comments throughout the I2NY investigative process pertaining to “outcomes and assessment” were diverse:

  • Assessment:
    • Connecting library services to student outcomes
    • Information literacy
    • Assessing and reporting the value of library services for funders
  • Information Literacy:
    • Establish a state-wide High School to College Continuum committee to review current information literacy programs offered by academic libraries and high schools throughout the state to identify best practices, collaborations, and models as they address Common Core learning standards.
    • Establish a state-wide group to develop a set of standardized information literacy outcomes and work to develop a common instructional assessment program that connects to student retention and student achievement after college. [NOTE: In August at the Uncommon Core conference, one of the groups suggested developing a statewide library assessment tool related to the Common Core.]
    • Partner with ACRL and others to develop a statewide initiative to assess the value of academic libraries in New York State.
  • Value/ROI:
    • Libraries have to prove their worth, demonstrate impact to government, community and parent institutions.
    • What is ROI? What are measures of success?
    • How do we tie student learning outcomes to life-long achievements?
    • How do we make ‘the sell’ for libraries with limited dollars available? Recommendations:
    • Develop a Return on Investment (ROI) model for each type of library (public, academic school, etc.).See Cultural Data project model.
  • Develop recommendations or toolkit for outreach/assessment of stakeholder needs and perceptions about library services.

Next Steps. Because of the broad scope of this topic, one of the first tasks of the working group will be to narrow the focus and establish priorities for areas to address.  This initiative will include, but not be limited to, a project description, project goal(s), activities, costs/budget, intended audience, project leader(s) and contact information, funding source, periodic project updates, as well if and how other interested organizations can “plug into” the project. Target date for completion of a plan: January 1, 2014.

Continuing Education. The CE component of the I2NY Outcomes and Assessment initiative launched at the New York Library Association’s annual meeting on November 5th.  The full-day workshop,Flipped on Assessment, began with Rebecca Teasdale, who serves on PLA’s Performance Measurement Task Force and Public Library Data Service (PLDS) Statistical Report Advisory Committee. She discussed the assessment landscape and how to move forward. NJ Bradeen (Wolfe) of the Fashion Institute of Technology described how assessment can assist with organizational transformation.  Sue Considine (Fayetteville Free Library) moderated an informative panel discussion featuring Wendi Ackerman (SUNY Upstate Health Sciences Library), Susan Currie (Tompkins County Public Library), and Nancy Greco (St. John Fisher College).  Mary Linda Todd (New York State Library), Sue Considine, and Nancy Greco provided hands-on sessions during the afternoon.  Thanks to all the presenters for an engaging and useful program!

The Practical Library Assessment webinar series launches on April 30, featuring at least ten webinars that run from 1 to 1.5 hours. Learning outcomes include:

  • Obtain an overview of current library assessment practices in different types of libraries.
  • Acquire practical experience in the development of assessment activities and materials though the webinar and the “digging deeper” component.
  • Develop an assessment skill set.
  • Identify opportunities for collaboration and continuing professional development.

Outcomes & Assessment Repository. The O & A Working Group continues to brainstorm a comprehensive LibGuide for assessment. The switchover to the new LibGuides version is nearly complete and work can begin. Topics will include definitions and reasons to assess, national assessment initiatives and opportunities, resources, and tools. The new ETL (Estimated Time to Launch) is June 2015.

Pilot Project.  “Our data is not doing us justice!” said one Working Group member at a recent meeting, i.e., the data that we are collecting and/or asked to collect by various agencies and accrediting bodies is not demonstrating impact. The Working Group proposes to bring together librarians from around the state to tackle this issue in a facilitated discussion, i.e., in a forum that will challenge all of us to think about impact. Potential outcomes from this meeting are a white paper on the topic and a pilot project involving data sets. The data sets and stories told could be added to the repository.  Stay tuned…..

April 30, 2015, 12:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.

Why Assessment? An Introduction & How to be Successful. Denise Davis, Deputy Director, Sacramento Public Library, Sacramento, CA.

(View Recording Here)

May 15, 2015, 10 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

Communicating the Library’s Value.   Zsuzsa Koltay, Director of Assessment & Communication, Cornell University.

(View Recording Here) 

May 26, 2015, 10 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

Using Data for Peer Benchmarking and Best Practices. Robert Dugan, Dean of Libraries, University of West Florida.

(View Recording Here)

June 11, 2015, 2 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Program: Community Engagement and Assessment.  Susan Currie, Director, Tompkins County Public Library, Ithaca, NY.

June 22, 2015, 10 a.m.–11:00 a.m. Gathering and Analyzing Quantitative Data. Wendi Ackerman, SUNY Upstate Health Sciences Library.

July 10, 2015, 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.  Survey Design. Eugene Harvey, Assessment & Reference Librarian, SUNY Buffalo State on Survey Design.


July 22, 2015, 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.mFocus on Focus Groups. Mary-Carol Lindbloom, Executive Director, South Central Regional Library Council.

September 29, 2015, 10:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. Qualitative Data & Data Presentation. Sue Considine, Executive Director, Fayetteville Free Library; Nancy Greco, Instruction & Archives Librarian, St. John Fisher College.

October 6, 2015, 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Data Visualization and Applications.  Lisabeth Chabot, Librarian, Ithaca College.


NJ Bradeen
(Fashion Institute of Technology)
Lisabeth Chabot
(Ithaca College)
Sue Considine
(Fayetteville Free Library)
Kate Cunningham-Hendrix
(University of Buffalo)
Susan Currie
(Tompkins County Public Library)
Claire Enkosky
(Manlius Public Library)
Karen Gardner-Athey
Nancy Greco
(St. John Fisher College)
Eugene Harvey
(Buffalo State)
Maria Holden
(NYS Division of Library Development)
Zsuzsa Koltay
(Cornell University)
Kelly Lambert
(Canisius College)
Elaine Lasda Bergman
(SUNY Albany)
Susan LeBlanc
Aprille Nace
(Corning Museum of Glass)
Megan Oakleaf
Syracuse University iSchool)
Cristina Pope
(SUNY Upstate HSL)
Bonnie Swoger
(SUNY Geneseo)
Mary Linda Todd
(NYS Division of Library Development)

Mary-Carol Lindbloom, SCRLC, is the facilitator for this group.

Looking for information on library assessment? We hope you will find what you are looking for at our LibGuide, Library Assessment Tools.