Assessment & Evaluation

Assessment and Evaluation

Excellence is best achieved when library services match community needs, interests and priorities. Ensuring a good match is best achieved when both assessment and evaluation are undertaken. Assessment is a process by which a local community’s assets and needs are identified. It is a critical first step, undertaken before implementing any new program or service strategy, that helps inform how such programs should be planned and designed. Equally important, but occuring while programs are offered, is the process of evaluation. This essentiall step helps determine a program’s impact and effectiveness. It can inform if and how programs and strategies continue. A variety of assessment and evaluation tools exist to assist libraries with both of these tasks. Links to some of these resources are provided below. Additional resources are also available in our Resources database.

IMLS Fellowship Courses

Community Assessment

Evaluating Results

Instructor: Cindy Mediavilla [email protected]

I’ve been teaching workshops and library school classes for more than 20 years. During my 35-year career as a librarian, I’ve written many grant applications…all of which required an assessment to show proof of community need. I’ve also evaluated many library programs as a freelance consultant. This adds up to lots of experience utilizing these various techniques. I hope these courses will inspire you to conduct a solid assessment of your Boomer community’s needs as well as the critical evaluations that can ensure optimal success.


Environmental Scan – Internal (Library) (doc)
Environmental Scan – External (Community) (doc)
Community Assessment Strategy Worksheet (doc)


Boomers Community Assessment- Monterey Park, CA (pdf)

TLA50 Community Assessment- Carlsbad City CA (pdf)

Community Assessment of 55+ – Pierce County WA (pdf)

Multnomah County Library Needs Assessment for the Russian-Speaking, Vietnamese, and Chinese Communities (pdf)

Seattle Public Library, “Community Survey Summary” (pdf)