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Archive for August, 2014

New OERC Webinar: Eval 2.0

The OERC debuted a brand new webinar for the NN/LM Greater Midwest Region’s monthly Lake Effects webinar series on August 21. The new webinar, Evaluation 2.0: Trends, New Ideas, Cool Tools, presents emerging trends in evaluation practice that emphasize stakeholder interaction and social engagement. It also covers popular tools and methods that allow you to draw others into the evaluation process and raise the visibility of your program or services. The NN/LM GMR makes recordings of Lake Effects presentations publicly available, so click here to listened to the  Eval 2.0 webinar.

If you are interested in attending a live presentation of this webinar, please contact the OERC or your National Network of Libraries of Medicine regional office. Descriptions of other  OERC webinars that can be offered upon request are listed here.

Cover slide for Eval 2.0 presentation

Some Great Examples of Library Dashboards

At the Library Assessment Conference in August, one panel featured assessment librarians presenting data dashboards they created using Tableau software. Our colleagues often ask OERC staff  for good examples of library dashboards, so I am excited that the PowerPoint slides of Tableau Unleashed: Visualizing Library Data are publicly available . This document includes views of dashboards from University of British Columbia Library (by presenter Jeremy Buhler), UMass Amherst Libraries (by Rachel Lewellen) and Ohio State Libraries (by Sarah Murphy). All of the presenters used Tableau software to produce their dashboards.

Tableau may be the most popular software for creating dashboards right now and the company offers a free version that has a great deal of functionality. In fact, at least one presenter (Sarah Murphy) included dashboards she created using Tableau Public. However, users must be cautioned that any data entered into Tableau Public become public information.  That means anyone can see and download your raw data. So, if you use it, be sure all identifying information about individuals is stripped from your files and that you are comfortable with other people downloading your raw data.

The presenters included some tips for dashboard design, which you will find in their slides.  If you want more comprehensive guidance, check out A Guide to Creating Dashboards People Love to Use by Juice Analytics. The guide is free and downloadable.

Cover slide for Tableau Unleashed

Logic Models for Library Assessment Planning

The Engaged Librarian: Crafting an Effective Assessment Plan to Determine the Impact of a Key Strategic Library Initiative by Sarah Murphy at The Ohio State University (OSU) was presented during the Library Assessment Conference and provided an overview to the use of a logic model as part of library strategic planning. Ms. Murphy’s presentation slides are available by clicking here.

Their project incorporated the theory of change methodology with logic models and used the Kellogg Foundation Logic Model as a template. They storyboarded data within a data dashboard that was both aligned with and broken down by the applicable OSU strategic vision goals. Ms. Murphy reported that the benefits of using a logic model approach included having a flexible but structured way to do library assessment planning, having a collaborative and inclusive approach, creating a project focus, being able to assess linear and iterative programs and services, and the ability to communicate program accomplishments in interesting ways. During the question and answer session they noted they are also Tableau fans (we will write about Tableau for our next post) and like to create data structures in their dashboard to avoid information silos.

If you’d like to learn more about logic models and data dashboards, be sure to check out our freely available Outreach Evaluation Resource Center (OERC) Evaluation Guides, especially Planning Outcomes-Based Outreach Projects. We also offer Data Dashboards: Monitoring Progress toward Program Outcomes as one of our webinars and a recording of Data Dashboards is available by clicking here.

Freebie Friday: Presentations from the Library Assessment Conference

ARL Library Assessment Conference 2014 digital badge for your website and/or blog

We here at the Outreach Evaluation Resource Center (OERC) and 600 others enjoyed a fabulous week of learning and engagement during the 2014 Library Assessment Conference at the University of Washington in Seattle. We will be covering some of the great assessment resources and information shared here in our blog (http://nnlm.gov/evaluation/blog/) that are of interest to National Network of Library of Medicine (NN/LM) network members.

In the meantime you may be interested in the freely available copies of most of the conference presentations that are posted on the main program schedule website at http://libraryassessment.org/schedule/index.shtml  along with photos of the poster session, which will soon be available at http://libraryassessment.org/schedule/2014-posters.shtml.

Data Visualizations at Information is Beautiful

The OERC will be attending the Library Assessment Conference (LAC) at University of Washington this week, where we will be learning about new trends in library assessment, evaluation, and improvement. Stayed tuned to our blog and we will pass along what we learn. The LAC is sponsored by the Association of Research Libraries.

In the meantime, I want to leave you with a fun data visualization site to explore while we’re gone.  David McCandless creates wonderful infographics for his site “Information is Beautiful.”  Many are health-related. All are gorgeous.  You can find the list of his data visualizations here.