We use Project Outcome almost solely for tracking program outcomes and statistics at our library. They work well for the covered categories, but there is one big gap in the coverage, and that is for programs where the goal is to enrich people’s lives, such as family movies, craft programs, etc… These programs have a very clear desired outcome - to improve the attendees’ quality of life - but there is no way to measure that. So we have amazing stories and outcomes - the family with 9 children who got to have their first movie experience at our free movies because they had never been able to afford it, or the elderly lady who confided at a craft program that this was the first time she had left the house since her husband died - and no suitable survey. Worse, trying to use the existing surveys to track them actually skews our data downwards, because of course most people are going to circle “No” on “You learned something new” when they just watched an animated movie.
So I’ve been thinking for a while about what kind of survey would address these kinds of programs, but be general enough to be widely helpful, and came up with the idea of a “Quality of Life” survey. Here’s a rough draft of some possible questions:
- This program gave you the opportunity to experience something you might otherwise not have experienced.
- This program enriched your quality of life.
- This program made you want to find more life-enriching opportunities in your community.
- You are more aware of applicable resources and services provided by the library
- What did you like most about the program?
- What other opportunities could the library provide to enrich your life?
I hope you will consider this next time you are planning new surveys!