iSchool Professor Dr. Melissa Gross Releases New Book

Dr. Melissa Gross, Professor in the School of Information and 2019 ALISE Award Winner for Professional Contribution to Library and Information Science Education, has released a new book.

“Five Steps of Outcome-Based Planning & Evaluation for Youth Services” is an updated version of her previous best-selling guide, “Dynamic Youth Services Through Outcome-Based Planning and Evaluation.” The newest version of the guide focuses on helping youth service professionals integrate outcome-based planning and evaluation (OBPE) into their work.

Gross and co-authors Cindy Mediavilla (UCLA) and Virginia A. Walter (UCLA) were approached by their publisher to produce an updated version at the request of instructors who use the book as a class text.

“The original OBPE book tailored to youth services was published in 2006,” Gross said. “That’s a long time ago now! Instructors wanted to see an update. My co-authors and I wanted to share the changes we made to the original OBPE model with youth services librarians.”

OBPE is a de facto standard, but it may be difficult for some to understand, according to Gross. Because of this, Gross provides a simple 5-step model to easily walk readers through the process.

“One way to think about OBPE is reverse engineering,” Gross said. “You start your planning by developing an idea of the outcome(s) you want to achieve based on community needs and aspirations as well as the mission of the library and its resources. Programs are then specifically designed to produce the desired outcome(s).”

With this publication, readers will learn and visualize the five steps of outcome-based planning. Ultimately, Gross hopes that by implementing OBPE into their work, youth service professionals can deliver effective assessments and programs for and with the youth. In the past, OBPE has positively impacted youth service professionals, and Gross cites that OBPE has contributed to improved relationships between users and staff.

“Stakeholders and users experience first-hand staff responsiveness to the needs of youth,” Gross said. “OBPE has also changed staff perceptions of their work. Understanding the goals of programs changes how people approach their work and their view of the kinds of contributions they can make to community well-being.”

To learn more about Gross’s newest book, “Five Steps of Outcome-Based Planning & Evaluation for Youth Services”, click the link to her press release here.