Header image for iSchool Professor Melissa Gross Publishes New Book

iSchool Professor Melissa Gross Publishes New Book

iSchool professor Melissa Gross recently published her new book, 5 Steps of Outcome-Based Planning and Evaluation for Public Libraries. Co-authored with Cindy Mediavilla and Virginia A. Walter, the book is intended to help librarians conduct solid community assessments and integrate outcome-based planning and evaluation (OBPE) into their work.

Gross shares, “My co-authors and I recognized that even though outcome evaluation is the de facto method for evaluating library programs and services, few library managers know how to use outcomes as part of planning and evaluation.”

Gross, Mediavilla and Walter have conducted many successful workshops teaching librarian managers their 5-step OBPE process and decided to publish a book about it to make the information more readily available to those who need it. This knowledge isn’t only advantageous to librarians, but also to instructors in library schools, workshop leaders, library managers and grant writers.

The book enhances the previous OBPE model by incorporating a fifth step that addresses how to use outcomes to leverage the library’s role in the community. The new model has been extensively tested in order to determine how to present OBPE in a comprehensible way, and the book demonstrates that integrating the new step is not only beneficial but simple.

Gross explains, “One of the primary strengths of our OBPE approach is its simplicity. Other outcome-based planning models are difficult to understand and have been deemed too complicated to be readily implemented.”

The authors are confident that adopting OBPE helps libraries rethink old programs and systematically approach new ones, make good managerial decisions, build staff capacity to be better practitioners, provide relevant data for library stakeholders, satisfy grant funders and use results to leverage the library’s overall role in the community.