Outcome Based Evaluation (OBE) is a reporting tool required for many library-related funding including grants from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and NYS grants such as the LSTA grants.
Outcome-Based Evaluation (OBE) is defined by IMLS as a systemic way of assessing the extent to which a program has achieved its intended result. It answers questions such as "What difference did the program make?" and "How did the participant benefit from the program?" OBE is useful both as a planning tool and as an evaluation tool. Outcomes are beneficial changes for program participants that include changes in skills, knowledge, behavior, attitude, status, or life condition.
Outcome-Based Evaluation cannot be used for every project, the benefits of using OBE evaluation techniques are many. It can be used as a planning tool, as well as an advocacy tool, and can help communicate the value and success of a program. It can also help libraries focus their limited resources on their most effective programs that address the highest priorities.
For information on Outcome Based Evaluation, please refer to the New York State Library's OBE page.