What We’re Learning

What does excellence in library programming look like, and how can the library field achieve it together?

Since 2014, ALA and Knology have been exploring these questions. The goal: to empower library workers and help them create the best programming for their communities.

Key Findings

Indicators of Impact

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.

  • This research is ongoing. More information coming soon!

Community Partnerships

Libraries do their best work when they work with partners. We are exploring how library workers responded to the needs of their users to understand best partnership practices going forward.

  • This research is ongoing. More information coming soon!

Programming Competencies

How can library workers create successful library programming? We have identified nine library programming competencies library workers need, including organizational skills, content knowledge, and outreach and marketing abilities.

  • Read more on programming competencies

What is a Library Program?

Creating a great program starts with understanding your institution, audience, and intended outcomes. We have developed a framework for library workers to assess their ideas to ensure success.

  • Read more on dimensions of library programming

Our Methodologies

ALA, Knology, and advisors use a mixed-methods research strategy to address each research question. These methods include, but are not limited to, an analysis of existing data, national surveys, discussion forums, and interviews.