Program and Budget Evaluation Criteria

ALSC Board of Directors

Program and Budget Evaluation Criteria

The Board of Directors of each division of the American Library Association is responsible for the total division program. It is the Directors’ responsibility to evaluate each activity proposed in terms of its value to the division and to ALA and, where appropriate, in terms of the budget request for support of the activity. The following questions are offered to the Board of Directors as convenient guidelines for the process of evaluation:

  1. Is this activity worth doing at all?

  2. Is this the time to do it?

  3. It is urgent that it be done? Can it be done in time to be of use?

  4. Can the work be accomplished in the period of time available?

  5. Is the time schedule realistic in allowing for emergencies and setbacks, but designed to bring the project to a conclusion within reasonable limits?

  6. Is the sub-unit, committee, discussion group, etc., sponsoring this activity in a position to undertake it? (Do the members have the talent, the time, and the resources?)

  7. Is this the right unit to undertake the activity? Could the work be done better by a small or larger group, a group from one geographic area, by one person, by a person or agency outside of ALA?

  8. Has this unit done sufficient background work to be able to launch this activity at this time?

  9. Is this activity appropriate to the function of this unit and to the division?

  10. Is the method selected the best one possible?

  11. If the unit is asking for funds for a meeting:

    1. Has it specified precisely what it expects to accomplish at this meeting?

    2. Has it accomplished groundwork by mail, e-mail or by meetings at conferences?

    3. Will its work proceed more quickly and efficiently by holding a meeting?

    4. Must it hold this meeting in order to meet a deadline?

  12. If the request is for publication:

    1. What specific needs will this publication or production meet?

    2. Will this publication or production be something behind which ALSC can stand?

    3. Has the talent to produce this publication or production been identified?

    4. Have methods of insuring high standards been developed such as the establishment of an evaluation committee and/or provision for the employment of re-write and editing personnel?

    5. If it is meant to sell, what analysis of the potential market has been made?

    6. Are there resources available to cover the cost of publishing and marketing the publication?

    7. In the case of a publication, is it necessary that it be published initially as a separate piece or can it be published in Children and Libraries with reprints for further distribution?

    8. Is ALA Editions interested in the publication?

  13. Is the project terminal or does it commit the division to long-term support?

  14. Is there already an investment in this project, and if there is, does it deserve to be built on or should be project be abandoned before more money is spent fruitlessly?

The following questions concerning the total proposed activities for the year are offered to the Board of Directors to assist them in considering every activity proposed in relation to the total division program:

  1. Are we dealing with the most important matters in our field of responsibility or with those that happen to come to our attention?
  2. Are these matters related to today’s problems?

  3. Are they in accord with the priorities and emphases set by the Executive Board and Council and the President of ALA?

  4. Does the scope of these activities include all the segments of the division’s membership? (Although it may not be possible to give attention to all of the professional interests of the division in one year, the total program of several years should be reviewed to make sure that no particular interest is being consistently omitted from attention).

  5. How much staff time will the program actively require? How much membership time will it require? Is it realistic in respect to these factors? Can the total program afford the staff time required for the new activities? Can the Board and the membership give the necessary time and thought to the ongoing program and take on new activities? Should some of the current activities be dropped or tabled in favor of the new activities?

*The Budget Committee should apply these questions on the Board’s behalf in all matters under consideration.