Sample Assessment for an ACRL Strategic Initiative Action Plan Proposal

Example of a Completed Form; RBMS Conference, titled “Intersecting Missions, Converging Futures: Libraries and Museums in the 21 st Century”

Sample Assessment

Question 

 

Response

 

Audience & Need: Who will this project benefit and why is there a need for this project?

                                  

The intended audience for this conference includes special collections librarians, archivists, and museum professionals. The conference will examine contemporary societal roles played by these participants and will explore their respective organizational missions, how they relate to one another, and how they differ. Over the past two decades, there has been a growing sense among library and museum professionals that, not only are their public and scholarly roles changing, but the traditional boundaries defining library and museum functions have become increasingly blurred.

Museums and special collections libraries share many of the same functions. They collect and preserve cultural artifacts and historical records. They organize and provide access to their collections for the benefit of both the general public and scholarly communities with focused interests. They employ trained professionals as curators, catalogers, conservators, and administrators who seek to uphold and advance the standards and practices of their fields. Historically, they have played distinct roles in society: Libraries have specialized in managing textual collections primarily for intellectual appreciation and study, while museums have specialized in managing collections of artworks or historical artifacts primarily for aesthetic appreciation and display. Growing exceptions to these generalizations, however, challenge their meaning and value, especially as museums and special collections libraries have become more sophisticated and have enlarged the scope of their respective missions, audiences, and functions. Distinctions have blurred while the categories remain fixed in our vocabulary.

Outcome(s): What is the intended impact of this project?    How does it fill the need or solve the problem identified above?

The 47th annual RBMS conference will address the need for exploring these increasingly intersecting roles of special collections libraries and museums and how their functions, as we look to the future, appear to be converging. The conference will also explore how the respective missions of special collections libraries and museums may be strengthened through collaboration, partnership, cooperation in the development of technical standards, and the exchange of innovative ideas and entrepreneurial approaches toward organizational management. The intended outcomes for this conference are outlined below.

1)        Participants will increase their knowledge of major issues in allied fields.

2)        Participants will show increased interest in communicating with professionals in allied fields.

3)        Participants will be more likely to seek out opportunities to learn more about allied fields and the professionals who work in them.

4)        Participants will be more inclined to seek out opportunities to engage in collaborative initiatives with professionals in allied fields.

Indicator(s): What are the specific, observable behaviors or conditions you are going to measure?

1)        # and % of participants who report a 1-point or more increase in their knowledge of major issues in allied fields on a six point gap analysis scale comparing their knowledge before and after the conference.

2)        # and % of participants who report a 1-point or more increase in their interest in communicating with professionals in allied fields on a six point gap analysis scale comparing their knowledge before and after the conference.

3)        # and % of participants who report a 1-point or more increase in their likelihood to seek out opportunities to learn more about allied fields and the professionals who work in them on a six point gap analysis scale comparing their likelihood before and after the conference.

4)        # and % of participants who report a 1-point or more increase in their inclination to seek out opportunities to engage in collaborative initiatives with professionals in allied fields comparing their inclination before and after the conference.

Measurement Tool (e.g., measurement, survey, or focus group): How are you going to measure these indicators to see if you have achieved the desired outcome?

A post-conference questionnaire will be issued to all participants in an online format. We will use a six-point gap analysis scale comparing participant’s knowledge, attitudes and potential behaviors before and after the conference.

Measurable Goal: What specific target(s) have you set for this project using the Measurement Tool?

1)        85% achieve the indicator of a 1-point increase or more increase in their knowledge of major issues in allied fields.

2)        60% achieve the indicator of a 1-point or more increase in their interest in communicating with professionals in allied fields.

3)        60% achieve the indicator of a 1-point or more increase in their likelihood to seek out opportunities to learn more about allied fields and the professionals who work in them.

4)        50% achieve the indicator of a 1-point or more increase in their inclination to seek out opportunities to engage in collaborative initiatives with professionals in allied fields.

Feedback: How and when will the results shown by the measurement tool be shared with the Board of Directors?

In July 2006 a summary of the results of the post-conference questionnaire will be shared with the ACRL Board of Directors. Two representatives from RBMS will also attend the annual meeting of the American Association of Museums (AAM) in the spring of 2006 and present the results of the RBMS conference. In addition, selected conference presentations will be included in the spring 2006 issue of RBM: A Journal of Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Culture.

Create a program purpose statement by answering the following questions.

We are doing what, for whom, for what outcome or benefit?

The Rare Book and Manuscript Section (RBMS) of ACRL will organize a major national conference focused on issues of mutual interest to special collections librarians, archivist, and museum professionals. This conference will be held in order to increase knowledge of allied fields and promote collaboration and communication among them.