Making the difference: introducing a framework to measure outcomes and impact of libraries on reading for pleasure
Simon Bequoye (Iedereen Leest) & Catherine Godward (The Reading Agency)
vrijdag 15/09 14.15u.
We all want to make a difference. The change organisations (or individuals) want to achieve through their services for society or their target groups: that’s called impact. Short- or long-term actions, campaigns, strategic objectives: they always strive to change something small or big. In order to increase that change or to make the most difference, organisations need to measure their impact.
Measuring impact is an organisational process not only to evaluate or monitor actions and results but to adjust and improve them, based on the responses of the people you’re trying to reach. It is part of social innovation and an important factor in stakeholder management. There are, however, different ways to describe the impact of organisations and multiple methods to monitor indicators.
The Reading Agency worked together with several international partners to measure the impact of interventions that boost reading engagement. This process resulted in a toolkit available for use by anyone who encourages reading. The toolkit helps organisations to understand, demonstrate and improve the impact of their work. It includes evidence about different aspects of outcomes of reading for pleasure and empowerment, such as social, personal, intellectual and health and wellbeing outcomes. It also provides questions that can be used to monitor whether programs impact on these outcomes.
The cross-sector approach highlights the innovative character of the process: the toolkit has been developed following consultation with the library, education, early years, health and prison sectors. We have worked together to draw on expertise to develop the toolkit and continue to collaborate to embed the shared framework across sectors.
We believe libraries are the hub for boosting reading engagement and important actors to encourage reading for pleasure. We also believe the outcomes framework, together with follow-up by Iedereen Leest, could help libraries to understand the needs of their target groups. The more libraries adjust their services to those needs, the higher their impact will be.
The seminar will focus on two topics:
- urge and necessity of impact measurement (by Iedereen Leest, who took part in the consulting stage in the development of the outcomes framework);
- the reading outcomes framework and toolkit (by The Reading Agency): describing the development process and presenting the framework.
There will be an opportunity to discuss how libraries can use the framework to start or continue to monitor the impact of their work.