Outcome-based planning and evaluation for youth services

For Immediate Release
Wed, 07/27/2022


Rob Christopher

Marketing Coordinator

ALA Publishing & Media

American Library Association



CHICAGO — Outcome-based planning and evaluation (OBPE), with its straightforward approach built on a flexible framework, is the perfect model to enable youth services professionals to deliver effective services regardless of uncertainties. An outcome-based approach can help youth services stay grounded in producing desired outcomes with and for youth through responsive programs, services, and processes that can adapt to changing conditions. Clarifying the relationship between planning, program development, and evaluation, “Five Steps of Outcome-Based Planning & Evaluation for Youth Services,” published by ALA Editions, will help youth services staff conduct solid community assessments and integrate OBPE into their work. From this book, by Melissa Gross, Cindy Mediavilla, and Virginia A. Walter, readers will learn:

  • a short history of OBPE and its evolution;
  • why it is crucially important to involve youth in all stages of program development, with guidance on navigating challenges;
  • how to think about planning as the need to react quickly, whether due to natural or human-made disasters, changing demographics, or economic swings;
  • the five steps of OBPE, from gathering information about your community and determining the outcomes that will serve your community to crafting accurate outcome statements, developing an evaluation plan, and maximizing the results of successful outcome-based programs; 
  • how to visualize the steps needed to successfully plan, implement, and evaluate an outcome-based program, using the template included in the book;
  • ways to share your data to let people know the library’s important role in the community; and
  • additional useful tools to bolster your work, including environmental scan forms and ideas for creating relevant family storytimes.

The authors previously cowrote the best-selling guide “Five Steps of Outcome-Based Planning and Evaluation for Public Libraries.” Gross is a professor in the School of Information at Florida State University and past president of the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE). She received the prestigious American Association of University Women Recognition Award for Emerging Scholars in 2001 and the ALISE Award for Professional Contribution to Library and Information Science Education in 2019. Mediavilla is an author and library consultant who recently retired from the California State Library as well as the UCLA Department of Information Studies. She is also a former public librarian. Her other books include “Libraries & Gardens: Growing Together,” coauthored with Carrie Banks. Walter is a past president of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) and a former public librarian and professor of information studies at UCLA. Her numerous publishing credits include “Young Activists and the Public Library: Facilitating Democracy.”

Many book retailers and distributors are experiencing service disruptions or delays, including Amazon. For speediest service, order direct from the ALA Store. ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness and accreditation programs for library and information professionals worldwide. ALA Editions | ALA Neal-Schuman publishes resources used by library and information professionals, scholars, students, and educators to improve programs and services, build on best practices, enhance pedagogy, share research, develop leadership, and promote advocacy. ALA authors and developers are leaders in their fields, and their content is published in a variety of print and electronic formats. Contact ALA Editions | ALA Neal-Schuman at editionsmarketing@ala.org.