Together, the American Library Association and Knology, a social science research nonprofit, are working to document the characteristics, audiences, outcomes, and value of U.S. library public programming.
This important research is ongoing, but we have created several publications to help libraries achieve success now.
Phase 1 – Dimensions of Library Programs and Skills and Training for Library Program Professionals
Throughout their history, libraries have redefined their services in response to community needs. Programming — whether it be for job-seekers, students, new Americans, or curious retirees — is a profound indicator of how libraries have continued to shift and add services that address emerging changes and critical concerns in their surrounding communities.
Our researchers studied the current landscape of library public programming — including program types, topics, formats, audiences, and partner relationships — and identified the skills required to create effective and excellent programs.
Skills for 21st-Century Librarians
Because of the evolving role of libraries, the skills that library workers need today are vastly different than decades ago. Our researchers identified nine competency areas for library workers that are teachable, important, and currently under-instructed.
Phase 2 – Identifying Indicators for Impact and Learning How Libraries Partner with Other Organizations
We are working to identify indicators for impact — measurable changes to which good library programming contributes in ways big and small. This will pave the way for us to measure when and how programs make a difference, both in individual communities and collectively across the U.S.
Check back soon for white papers and reports.
- “What Is a Program, Anyway? Findings from NILPPA, ALA’s National Study of Library Public Programs”
- “The Nine Competencies of Programming Librarians: Findings from NILPPA, ALA’s National Study of Library Public Programs”