Benchmark 101: Become a Data-Informed Library

Benchmark: Library Metrics and Trends features interactive data visualizations that allow libraries to easily explore peer comparisons across a wide range of metrics related to library programs, services, and operations. Learn how Benchmark can support your library in everyday decision-making.

Get a behind-the-scenes look at Benchmark’s interactive and user-friendly data dashboards and reporting tools for public library subscribers. These feature data from PLA annual surveys, the IMLS Public Libraries Survey, and the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. The visualizations make it easy to compare your library’s data to peer and national reference points. PLA staff and member leaders share examples of how libraries can use the data to unlock insights about performance, demonstrate value, and increase community impact.

Benchmark offers both free and subscription levels of access. This on-demand webinar focuses on the features available to subscribers. More information about Benchmark is available on the PLA website. Log into your library’s account at For assistance, please email

Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of this free on-demand webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Use Benchmark to help with planning, decision-making, and advocacy;
  • Know what benchmarking is and how to make effective peer comparisons;
  • Use the Benchmark tool’s data and interactive features; and
  • Understand how other libraries have used Benchmark to support their goals.

Additional Resources

Who Should Attend

This on-demand webinar is relevant to public library directors, administrators, and managers responsible for data collection and analysis. However, staff from any level within their organizations are welcome to attend to learn more about Benchmark.


Renee Di Pilato

Renee Di Pilato currently serves as director of Libraries and Historical Resources for Sarasota County, FL. In this role, she leads the strategic direction of the library system, oversees major initiatives, manages the department’s budget, and is the primary liaison for community relations. Originally from Virginia Beach, VA, Renee has spent her career in a variety of library positions, from circulation to adult services and branch management. Prior to moving to Sarasota she served as deputy director of the Alexandria (VA) Library. Renee is an active ALA member, having been elected a councilor-at-large for two terms, and she currently serves as a member of PLA’s Measurement, Evaluation, and Assessment Committee. She holds a Master’s in Library and Information Science from the Catholic University of America, a Master’s in Public Administration from George Mason University, and a Ph.D. in Library and Information Science from Simmons University.

Sara GoekSara Goek (she/her) is project manager for data and research at PLA. She is responsible for supporting PLA’s data and research efforts and developing related training content.

Katina Jones (she/her)Katina Jones (she/her) is PLA’s program manager for evaluation and assessment. She supports Project Outcome, Benchmark, PLA's annual topical surveys, and other data and evaluation work.



This on-demand webinar is free and available 24/7 for your viewing convenience.

How to Register

No registration is required.


This on-demand webinar is closed captioned in English (United States).

If you have a physical or communication need that may affect your access to this on-demand webinar, please contact us at or 800-545-2433 ext. 5PLA (5752) prior to registering so we can attempt to provide appropriate accommodations.

Tech Requirements

To play this on-demand webinar you should use a browser with native HTML5 support. Please use the most up-to-date version available of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Edge. A fast Internet connection and computer is recommended.

Credits or CEUs

Credit hours, CEUs, or a certificate of completion are not available for this on-demand webinar.


If you have questions or problems accessing a recording, send a message to or call 800-545-2433 ext. 5PLA (5752).