Lending libraries - evaluation
Evaluating helps ensure you are on the right track, measure success, and provide ideas for improvement. Evaluation is also helpful when trying to secure funding and showing the impact of your project. It can also help with future planning and thinking about the sustainability of your lending library. Many projects take a long time to develop, so you don’t have to have amazing outcomes straight from the beginning.
In order to understand how your lending library is doing, evaluate the impact your lending library has had on the community.
Quantitative (numbers) evaluation
- How many people use your library?
- What items are most borrowed?
- How many items are loaned out (month/year)?
- What business or community groups use it?
- What are items being used for?
- Did it increase access to tools?
Qualitative (tell your story) evaluation
- Was there cost savings for neighbours?
- Was there new learning or increased knowledge?
- Did it create new relationships or partnerships?
- Did it build stronger sense of community?
- Did it get more people involved and decrease social isolation?
- Did it improve look of community?
- Capture peoples’ stories of how the library has helped them.
There are many different tools you can use to get the information you are looking for. These include:
- Surveys (online & paper options)
- Interviews with members and volunteers
- Personal stories from members