Benchmarking and Longitudinal Studies: How to Measure Outcome Data Over Time

Outcome measurement is a way for libraries to assess their impact on the people they serve and helps libraries answer the question, “What good did we do?” In some instances, libraries may need to measure outcomes over a longer period of time to demonstrate the good they’re doing. Logic models are used to develop a sequence of steps needed to achieve a desired outcome and measure impact. This webinar will walk through the logic model process to help libraries identify short-term, intermediate, and long-term outcomes. This webinar will also focus on how benchmarking and longitudinal studies can be used to measure those outcomes over time.

Originally presented October 17, 2018.

This is the final webinar of the 2018 series featuring Project Outcome’s Outcome Measurement Guidelines, designed to help guide and provide additional support for outcome-focused data collection. Past archives of this series, Working with Partners: How to Plan for Collaborative Outcome Measurement, presented on January 31, 2018; How to Develop Outcome Measures & Design Effective Surveys, presented on April 11, 2018; and Beyond Surveys: How to Measure Outcomes Using Alternative Data Collection Methods, presented on July 18, 2018; are available for viewing.

Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of this on-demand webinar, participants will:

  • Be able to use a logic model to identify short-term, intermediate, and long-term outcomes;
  • Know what benchmarking and longitudinal studies are and the benefits of each; and
  • Understand how to apply benchmarking and longitudinal studies in a library setting.

Additional Resources

Who Should Attend

This on-demand webinar is open to everyone but will be most helpful to libraries interested in measuring outcomes. The content and resources provided in this webinar are free but accessing them does require a Project Outcome account. PLA’s Project Outcome is a free online toolkit designed to help public libraries understand and share the impact of their programs and services by providing simple surveys and an easy-to-use process for measuring and analyzing outcomes. To learn more, watch this introductory video or register for free at


Denise DavisDenise Davis is the strategic initiatives manager of Allen County Public Library in Indiana, with responsibilities for all things strategic planning and evaluation. Denise has contributed to the library profession with more than 30 years of experience in academic, public and state library agencies, as well as directing research at the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science and the American Library Association’s Office for Research and Statistics.

Emily PlagmanEmily Plagman is the project manager for PLA’s performance measurement initiative, Project Outcome, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, overseeing its development and implementation. Prior to joining PLA, Emily worked as a project manager at the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning on an energy efficiency grant. Emily received her Master’s in International Public Affairs from the LaFollette School of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin and her Bachelor’s in Political Science at Marquette University.



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

How to Register

No registration is required.

Tech Requirements

To playback this archived webinar you should have either the latest version of Flash running on your computer, or use a browser with native HTML5 support. Please use the most up-to-date version available of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer. A fast Internet connection and computer is recommended.

Credits or CEUs

PLA does not award credit hours, or CEUs, for its on-demand webinars and cannot verify participation.


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