About the OERC

Topics on this page:

Contact the OERC

U.S. Mail Address:
Outreach Evaluation Resource Center (OERC)
Health Sciences Library, Box 357155
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-7155

Express Mail Address (Fed Ex, UPS, etc.):
Outreach Evaluation Resource Center (OERC)
Health Sciences Library
1959 NE Pacific St., Room T334
Seattle, WA 98195-7155

Phone: (678) 382-3864
Fax: (206) 543-2469
Email: olneyc@uw.edu
URL: http://nnlm.gov/evaluation/

States Served: All U.S. and territories


Tania Bardyn, Director & PI, bardyn@uw.edu 206-543-0422

Cindy Olney, Acting Assistant Director, olneyc@uw.edu 678-682-3864

Karen Vargas, Evaluation Specialist, kjvargas@uw.edu 713-516-5974

Center Purpose and Goals

The Outreach Evaluation Resource Center (OERC) builds capacity for health information outreach evaluation in the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM). When evaluation is an integral part of an outreach project, participants can identify approaches that work well, learn from experiences, make mid-course corrections, and recognize accomplishments. Through evaluation, members of the NN/LM and staff of the Regional Medical Libraries can demonstrate to partners and stakeholders that efforts have made a difference.

With funding from the National Library of Medicine (NLM), NN/LM outreach projects strengthen participants' abilities to find, evaluate, and use health information. The OERC encourages outcomes-based approaches so that project planners can describe changes in knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behavior. "Although improved quality of health is the ultimate goal, NLM recognizes that this lofty goal is long range and not easy to measure. More realistic measures are short term or proximate indicators related to changes in individual health information seeking behavior and changes in community participation and support for health information literacy." (Burroughs, C. "Outcomes Assessment in Community-Based Health Information Outreach." Paper presented at Evaluation 2004, the annual conference of the American Evaluation Association, November 5, 2004. Atlanta, Georgia. p3)

The OERC provides consultation, education, and training to NN/LM members and Regional Medical Library staff; compiles techniques for outreach evaluation and program planning; works closely with RML staff who are involved with evaluation; and communicates about evaluation approaches and results. These activities are conducted in order to achieve several overarching goals:

  1. NN/LM capacity for evaluation of projects and activities will continue to grow.
    The OERC will provide training and continuing education opportunities for NLM, RML and Network members with regard to planning and evaluation of outreach and basic Network services, with adherence to 508 compliance (http://www.section508.gov). Guides will be revised on outreach planning and evaluation to include collaboration with community-based organizations, participatory evaluation, and program logic models.
  2. NN/LM projects and programs will receive support for evaluation.
    The OERC will assist and coordinate the evaluation-related activities and facilitate communication with the RML/Center staff identified as regional evaluation consultants. The OERC will consult with Network members on specific outreach evaluation projects, assist in the analysis, synthesis, and reporting of evaluation results, as well as with the evaluation efforts of the NLM Training Center and Web-STOC.
  3. Information about effective health information outreach practices will be communicated.
    The OERC will communicate results of consultations and encourage sharing among Network members and RML staff through meetings, articles for RML blogs, social media, chapter presentations, and evaluation presentation awards. The OERC will facilitate the identification, promotion and dissemination of best practices and lessons learned via the outreach applications, online reporting system and other mechanisms. The OERC will also participate in a review of the Center, to be conducted at least once during the contract, by selected representatives from NLM and the RMLs.

Reports to NLM

1st Quarter 2nd Quarter 3rd Quarter 4th Quarter Annual Reports


August - October, 2011


November 2011 - January 2012


February - April, 2012


Base Year: 2011 - 2012



August - October, 2012


November 2012 - January, 2013


February - April, 2013


Option Year 1: 2012 - 2013



August - October, 2013


November 2013 - January, 2014


February - April, 2014


Option Year 2: 2013 - 2014


August - October, 2014


November 2014 - January, 2015


February - April, 2015


Option Year 3: 2014-2015



August - October, 2015 November 2015 - January, 2016 February - April, 2016 Option Year 4 : 2015 - 2016