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Archive for the ‘Evaluation’ Category

Why Should You Attend the American Evaluation Association Summer Institute 2015?

Saturday, March 21st, 2015

Registration is now open for the American Evaluation Association’s annual Summer Evaluation Institute.  The Institute, held in Atlanta, runs for 2.5 days and features 26 half-day training sessions.   Here are five reasons I make a point of attending this Institute every year.

  • Great instructors. The training is offered by some of the most experienced evaluators in the field.
  • A continuing education bargain. Training costs about $80-90 per half-day session, less for students.
  • CDC presence. Historically, AEA co-sponsored this annual event with Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  While the CDC no longer co-sponsors the Institute, you will meet lots of CDC staff members and consultants.
  • Networking opportunities. Between lunch and breaks, you get eight opportunities to chat with your colleagues.
  • Great location. The Institute is held at the Crown Plaza Atlanta Perimeter at Ravinia, located in a park-like setting on Atlanta’s perimeter near shopping and restaurants. The hotel is on the MARTA (mass transit) red line, so you can get from the airport to the hotel without facing Atlanta’s legendary traffic. Because I live near Atlanta, I haven’t stayed in the hotel; but I’ve never heard any complaints.

Full-day pre-Institute workshops are held, for an additional charge, on the Sunday before the Institute. You can attend pre-conference sessions without registering for the Institute itself.  For example, beginners might want to take “Introduction to Evaluation” taught by Tom Chapel, the Chief Evaluation Officer at the CDC. Chapel organizes the workshop around the CDC’s six-step framework for program evaluation.

The AEA Institute 2015 runs June 1-3, with pre-session workshops conducted on May 31. The cost for the Institute is $395 for members and $480 for nonmembers, with a special student rate of $250. The price covers five training sessions (your choice among the 26 offerings), snacks, and lunch.  Pre-Institute workshops are an additional $150 (all participants).

What Shapes Health? A Story about Data Visualization

Friday, March 13th, 2015

This week on National Public Radio’s (NPR) All Things Considered was a story of what happened when Dr. Nancy Hardt, an OB-GYN, used data from Medicaid birth records to see where children were born into poverty in Gainesville, FL to try and identify ways to intervene and prevent poor childhood health outcomes. She was surprised to see a 1 square mile high-density ‘hot spot’ of births in dark blue appear in her map above. Dr. Hardt was encouraged to share her map with Sheriff Sadie Darnell, who pulled out a map of her own of Gainesville.

Sheriff Darnell’s map showed an exact overlay with the ‘hot spot’ on Dr. Hardt’s map of the highest crime rates in the city. By visiting the area they identified many things in the community that were barriers to good health including hunger, substandard housing, and a lack of medical care facilities – the closest location for uninsured patients was a 2 hour bus ride each way to the county health department. You’ll want to check out the rest of A Sheriff and A Doctor Team Up to Map Childhood Trauma to learn more about a mobile health clinic, what data from additional maps showed, and other steps they have taken since to help improve health outcomes for the community.

This story is the latest from the NPR series What Shapes Health, which was inspired in response to a recent Robert Wood Johnson Foundation poll about what beliefs and concerns Americans have regarding health. You can read an overview and download the full report of their results at http://www.rwjf.org/en/library/research/2015/01/what-shapes-health.html.

Tools and Resources for Evaluation Guide

Friday, March 6th, 2015

Have you ever found yourself trying to do an evaluation activity, but needing that one helpful tool? Or perhaps you need a step-by-step guide on how to do a community assessment, or are looking for ways to build evaluation into a project that you are planning?

The NN/LM Outreach and Evaluation Resource Center (OERC) has an online guide called Tools and Resources for Evaluation that you and your library can use to evaluate your programs. Here are some of the types of tools and resources described in the Guide.

Community Oriented Outreach

  • Tips on successful collaborations and tools for improving collaboration with community networks
  • Toolkits for practical participatory evaluation and processes for conducting outcome-based evaluations

Evaluation Planning

  • Step-by-step guides on incorporating evaluation planning into your outreach projects
  • Instructions on using logic models for program planning

Data Collection and Analysis

  • Tips for questionnaire development
  • Resources for statistical methods of data analysis
  • Guides for analyzing qualitative and quantitative data

Reporting and Visualizing

  • Help with creating popular data dashboards
  • Descriptions of data visualization methods
  • Tools and TEDtalks about how you will present your data

Qualitative Evaluation Week

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

The American Evaluation Association (AEA) just concluded a week-long blog theme about qualitative evaluation, which we’ve summarized below for your reference and to consider as part of your own assessment efforts:

  1. The Role of Context – the authors of this entry previously shared five high quality elements of qualitative evaluation, and this entry referenced them while emphasizing the need for evaluators to understand what role setting, relationships, and other context factors play in data as well.
  2. Purposeful Sampling – a great explanation on why to avoid convenience sampling (interviewing people because they happen to be around) and using caution with your qualitative evaluation terminology to consider not using the word ‘sampling’ due to people’s association of it with random probability.
  3. Interviewing People who are Challenging – establishing rapport leads to good qualitative data, but what does an interviewer do if there seems to be conflict with the interviewee? Details about how to manage your own feelings and approach with a curious mindset are very helpful!
  4. Asking Stupid Questions – this example from a bilingual HIV/AIDS training is especially insightful about the importance of clarifying sexual terms, putting aside concerns the evaluator may have about looking ‘stupid,’ and outcomes that led to deeper engagement and discussion from the group.
  5. Practical Qualitative Analysis – many helpful tips and lessons shared, including the reminder of being sure to group our participants’ responses that answer the same question together even if these replies come from different parts of the survey or interview.
  6. Providing Descriptions – sometimes there are concerns expressed that evaluation is ‘only looking at the negative,’ and by including full details about your qualitative inquiry collection and analysis as an additional resource or appendix you can help explain the steps of the process that otherwise may not be evident.

Need more information about qualitative and other types of evaluation? The Outreach Evaluation Resource Center (OERC) has resources available including our Tools and Resources for Evaluation guide and our freely available Planning and Evaluating Health Information Outreach booklet series.

Teleconference Today—Interested in Leading the Regional Medical Library Program?

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) seeks candidates with experience in program coordination and health information policy for a Supervisory Librarian to lead our Regional Medical Library program.

If you are interested in this position, we strongly encourage you to attend our informational webinar on February 23, 2015 from 3 – 4 pm (ET).

Click here to register

The Head of the National Network Office (NNO) of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) serves as a national leader in developing collaborations among libraries in the Network.

The NNO Head is responsible for monitoring, evaluating, and advising on all aspects of biomedical information provision, for outreach to groups experiencing health disparities, and for the provision of access to medical information in emergency and disaster situations (national and international).  The Head also advises on public health information policy issues related to programs conducted throughout the Network.

NLM is in the process of transitioning our agreements with the Regional Medical Libraries from a contract funding mechanism to a grant cooperative agreement.  The Head will serve as Chair of the Scientific Steering Committee of the organizations awarded these cooperative agreements.

As a supervisory librarian at the GS-15 level, the position has a salary range of $126,245-$158,700, and reports to the Associate Director for Library Operations, Joyce Backus.

NLM will begin accepting applications for this position in early March.  At that time, we will release a second announcement with a link to the actual application.

We hope that you will consider applying for this exciting leadership opportunity.

If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!

METRO Webinar: Taking Ownership at Work

Friday, February 20th, 2015

No one wants to be micromanaged. We want to be trusted and given space in the workplace, even when we work as part of a team. Plenty of studies say that increasing employee responsibility and accountability through autonomy will improve both quality of work and employee satisfaction — a two-in-one proposition!

But what if our bosses simply aren’t buying into it? This is where independent ownership comes in.

There are lots of ways to exercise personal ownership on an individual level, no matter the circumstances. Proactive problem solving is one example. We’ve all had workplace conversations that turn into gripe sessions. Venting pent up frustrations feels good and can help us articulate exactly where the problem is. However, although we might feel stuck in the moment, there is almost always something we can do to solve the problem. Moving past frustration and onto an actionable next step is what we mean by “taking ownership.”

Having limited authority doesn’t need to short circuit our ability to be proactive. Take ownership over what you can. Innovate on a small scale and ask for what you need!

Of course, taking action to resolve issues in the workplace does carry some risk. Odds are that we’ll make at least one poor decision somewhere down the line. But forward steps bear so much more reward than standing still ever will.

Instructor Kimberly Sweetman will talk more about ownership, autonomy, and how to implement them during Library Professionals in the 21st Century Workplace at METRO on Monday, March 2nd.

Opportunity to Affect the Future of the National Library of Medicine

Friday, February 13th, 2015

You have a unique opportunity to affect the future of the National Library of Medicine. As Dr. Donald A.B. Lindberg retires after 30 years as director of NLM, Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health, has convened a “Working Group to Chart the Course for the NIH National Library of Medicine.” The group’s charge and members: http://www.nih.gov/about/director/02032015_working-group_nlm.htm.

Consider responding to this time-sensitive NIH Request for Information (RFI), soliciting input into the deliberations of the working group of the advisory committee to the NIH Director. This is a very important opportunity to contribute feedback of the value of the National Library of Medicine, and to directly influence the future of this organization.

Your response must be submitted electronically at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/rfi/rfi.cfm?ID=41, and will ONLY be accepted through March 13, 2015.

Please share this information with colleagues and friends who might wish to respond with thoughts about how the NLM, and especially the collections, programs, and resources, have contributed to their research, teaching, education, and professional development.

Is Granularity the Next Discovery Frontier?

Friday, February 13th, 2015

NISO Two-Part March Webinar: Is Granularity the Next Discovery Frontier?

Part 1: Supporting Direct Access to Increasingly Granular Chunks of Content

Date: March 11, 2015

Time: 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. Eastern time

Event webpage: http://www.niso.org/news/events/2015/webinars/granularity_pt1/

 

Part 2:  The Business Complexities of Granular Discovery

Date: March 18, 2015

Time: 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. Eastern time

Event webpage: http://www.niso.org/news/events/2015/webinars/granularity_pt2/

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NISO will be holding a two-part webinar on March 11 and 18 to explore the question, Is Granularity the Next Discovery Frontier?

The rise of the Discovery System in the library world has helped to streamline searching for end users by providing them with search functionality that more closely resembles search engines like Google than traditional database searches. But with this streamlined search comes added expectations from users about their ability to drill down into content and retrieve more granular pieces of information—anything from book chapters and individual letters to the editor to specific graphs and images could conceivably be retrieved in a more granular search.

Users are beginning to expect more granular search and access in Discovery System searches — encyclopedia articles, images, tables, book chapters. The implications for discovery system providers, content providers, and libraries to realize this vision are significant. These granular “objects” each have to be retrievable separately from the parent object and each has to have its own metadata and indexing. What is needed to ensure that discovery systems can retrieve and display information below the publication or article level? What is the role of the content provider and the library in this scenario? How do libraries help end users find and use this content?

This two-part NISO Webinar for March will examine the many implications of an increasingly granular discovery environment.

ABOUT PART 1: Supporting Direct Access to Increasingly Granular Chunks of Content

In Part 1: Supporting Direct Access to Increasingly Granular Chunks of Content, this webinar will discuss the implications of granular content for user search interfaces and discovery engines.

Topics and speakers are:

  • Working with Metadata Challenges to Support Granular Levels of Access and Descriptions – Myung-Ja Han, Assistant Professor/Metadata Librarian, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Urbana, Illinois
  • How Discovery Services are Meeting Evolving Granular Discovery User Needs – Tito Sierra, Director of Product Management, EBSCO Information Services

ABOUT PART 2: The Business Complexities of Granular Discovery

Part 2 will look at The Business Complexities of Granular Discovery, and presenters will discuss the implications of granular content​ discovery for the business side of the equation.

Topics and speakers are:

  • Enabling discoverability into specific segments of multimedia– Andrea Eastman-Mullins, Chief Operating Officer, Alexander Street Press
  • The Business side of Making Granular Discovery Work  – Dan Valen, Product Specialist, figshare

REGISTRATION

Registration is per site (access for one computer) and closes at 12:00 pm Eastern on March 11 for Part 1 and March 18 for Part 2 (the days of the webinars). Discounts are available for NISO and NASIG members and students.

NISO Library Standards Alliance (LSA) members receive one free connection as part of membership and do not need to register. (The LSA member webinar contact will automatically receive the login information. Members are listed here:www.niso.org/about/roster/#library_standards_alliance. If you would like to become an LSA member and receive the entire year’s webinars as part of membership, information on joining is listed here: www.niso.org/about/join/alliance/.)

All webinar registrants and LSA webinar contacts receive access to the recorded version for one year. You can register for either or both parts. There is a 25% discount if registering for both. Visit the event webpages to register and for more information:
Part 1: http://www.niso.org/news/events/2015/webinars/granularity_pt1/
Part 2: http://www.niso.org/news/events/2015/webinars/granularity_pt2/

Value of Academic Libraries (from ACRL)

Monday, February 9th, 2015

http://www.acrl.ala.org/value/?p=786#more-%27

Another Coffee Break: Word and Excel Templates

Monday, February 9th, 2015

Here at the Outreach Evaluation Resource Center (OERC) we began 2015 blogging about the CDC Coffee Breaks. For February we’re offering a refill by featuring some notes from a recent American Evaluation Association (AEA) coffee break webcast. Unlike the CDC, the 20 minute AEA coffee break webcasts are not freely available to the public but are an included benefit of AEA membership. The webcast briefly covered best practices in data visualization using two commonly available resources (Microsoft Word and Excel) and how to automate use of them by creating templates for report format consistency and easier workflow.

Some great resources to learn more how to do this and bookmark for future reference include

Specific for Word

Specific for Excel