Discover a 21st Century Roadmap for Community Outcomes

ImageIf you missed attending the free live webcast "Discover a 21st Century Roadmap for Community Outcomes" on March 6th, you can still view the archived webinar. This webcast covered some of the key themes from the Library Journal 2011 Directors’ Summit that was held in Columbus (OH) on December 5-6, 2011:

  • how to better anticipate social change
  • think about and plan for a future shaped by transformational change
  • gather prescriptive data that will lead to service innovation

Once logged in, you'll also be able to download the PDF versions of the webcast slides and the workbook Foresight Guide to Scanning for Change.

Question: How can librarians learn to ask new questions? That is, how can we learn how to frame questions and conversations so that we get outcomes? Answer from Pat Losinski: It starts by being curious, open and aware of community issues. Who in your community is working on key issues? What repeatedly gets mentioned in the media? Are there groups of people who are working on certain issues? Reach out to such individuals and really listen to their perspective. Don’t just talk about what the library does – listen to their needs and then let them know how the library could help. This usually leads to increased advocacy and an openness to library assistance.

The original 2-day Director's Summit covered these topics:

  • How libraries can garner support by moving from traditional library statistics like circulation and visits to outcome-based or evidence-based data
  • What are the outcomes that a community values? How do we determine those goals and develop needed services?
  • What is the impact the library has on those who use it? How do we measure impact?
  • Ultimately, how do libraries improve the lives of users and communities and tell their stories in ways that will motivate public funding and support as well as private fundraising?