Ask any library patron and they’ll tell you “I love coming to the library…”! However, being able to articulate the positive impact the library has on the lives of our communities is a challenge we all face.
How do we reveal and articulate the true impact libraries have on communities?
The Impact of Libraries as Creatives Spaces is a powerful tool libraries can use to better understand how to provide meaningful engagement that meets the needs of the community, as well as being able to evaluate the programs currently being delivered.
The SLQ publication was developed in partnership with the Queensland University of Technology’s Digital Media Research Centre. It examined international research about this topic and looked at the services libraries across the State are delivering.
Libraries as Creative Spaces outlines eight key criteria that library programming can be assessed against, which helps libraries build powerful evidence for both current and future programs. Understanding the real value of library programs empowers staff to feel confident talking about all the wonderful things they do every day. It also helps management identify service delivery gaps and strategies for the future.
The report presents several case studies to help users gain a clear understanding of how to apply the criteria, and comes with a supporting User Guide and templates available through the State Library website that make the research not only powerful, but also a practical.
Imagine providing management with a visualisation of the benefits participants willreceive from a program you’ve been planning for weeks – including outcomes like idea building, cultural participation, health and wellbeing and economic productivity.
The User Guide can also assist libraries to articulate evidenced outcomes after a program has finished – helping ensure future support for initiatives. Asking participants to complete a short survey of just a few meaningful questions, as well as capturing anecdotal evidence – photos, quotes, and video clips – can make all the difference between fighting to get your next idea off the ground and getting full support.
Capturing a clear picture and providing hard evidence of what the library brings to the community means staff, management and executives are empowered to become advocates for libraries and speak confidently when they say, “I love libraries because…”
Learn more by attending the upcoming professional development workshop, Unveil the Impact of Your Library, Friday 14 July, hosted by Toowoomba Regional Council Libraries.