It’s that time of year again: following the annual release of new national public library data by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), work has begun on the annual America’s Star Libraries/Library Journal Index of Public Library Service article.
This year’s article will include reflections from 2014 Star Library directors and their representatives about the relationship between outcome and output measurement. A brief survey about this issue is in progress, so if you have received a request to respond to it, please do so. You might end up being quoted in this year’s article.
Notably, this is probably the last year for the original design of the LJ Index. Since its inception, it has been based on 4 per capita statistics: visits, circulation, program attendance, and public Internet computer use. If all goes according to plan, the 2015 edition is likely to be the first to include circulation of electronic materials (or e-circulation). With other new output measures queued up to follow in the next few years, it will be an interesting period, as the LJ Index design will finally be able to evolve to reflect the dramatic changes in public library service.
Keep an eye out for this annual LJ cover story, respond to this year’s outcomes-and-outputs survey if asked, and encourage your state library agency to participate enthusiastically in the addition of long-awaited new output measures.