NILPPA: Phase I research will have many useful applications for the field. It provides two essential baseline frameworks that can help library workers shift the perspective from thinking about individual library program outcomes at their own library to a broader consideration of library program impact across the US, offering vital insight into how individual libraries may move forward, or how programming staff may shape their professional development focus. Our results offer guidance to library and information science graduate programs, encouraging them to consider curriculum to help students develop core programming competencies. National and regional organizations, including ALA, will also be able to use this research to create new opportunities for continuing education and professional development for all library workers. Finally, an articulated understanding of programming competencies can help library workers of all types design strategic plans — including hiring decisions, space allocations, and processes towards diversity and inclusion — with intention toward and attention to the growing importance of programming in today’s library.
The first phase of this essential research also creates the foundation for NILPPA’s next wave of studies, which will continue field-wide dialogue about public programming in libraries. We are confident that these assets will help us measure the impact of library programming on all stakeholders and strengthen the transforming role of libraries as they respond to the needs of our changing nation.