What Counts Gets Measured: Part 4

Measure 2Programs, Outreach, and Community Engagement


 Why We Do It

The working definitions are why we do these activities.  What is the intent of the activity?  Why is the activity important to the library and Omaha?

  • Programs showcase or deliver library services and collections to the public. Programs generally occur in a library building and are advertised to the public.
  • Outreach showcases or delivers library services, programs, and collections to a targeted audience outside the library.
  • Community Engagement is an externally focused and community driven process to create opportunities for connections and relationships.

Programs and Outreach are library-centric.  Community Engagement is community-centric.  All the activities focus on building relationships.

 How We Measure It

The statistical definitions are how we measure these activities numerically.  These definitions must be consistent so that we can compare what we have done year after year.  These numbers are not collected in a vacuum or void.  Library statistics are partially based on what we must report to the Nebraska Library Commission (NLC), the Public Library Association (PLA), and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

  • Programs are events that generally occur inside a library building.
  • Outreach occurs when we take our library materials and services out of a library building.
  • Community Engagement may occur inside or outside a library building.   Community Engagement events will likely be arranged by the Community Outreach Department or the Adult and Youth Programming Managers.



 The lists below show how different types of events have been classified historically for statistical purposesThis is only a guide.  If you have any questions or concerns about how an event should be counted, please contact Terry Wingate (Staff Development Manager


  • Author visit held at a hall
  • Hispanic Heritage Festival
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Children’s Choir Branch Visit
  • PrimeTime story times
  • SRP Kickoff Party


  • Booth at an event hosted by another community organization
  • Club about library resources
  • Costume character in a school classroom
  • Every Child Ready to Read presentation for childcare providers
  • Leading a Book Club at a senior center or school
  • Presentation at a school (SRP, costume character, story time, etc.)
  • Speech at a Kiwanis meeting
  • Story time at a daycare

Community Engagement

  • Business Association meeting attendance
  • Community group meeting attendance (Omaha 360, Empowerment Network, Florence Futures, etc.)
  • Facilitating a meeting for a community organization
  • Home School spelling bee judge
  • Library-sponsored basketball team
  • Local conference attendance (YP Summit, Genealogy conference, etc.)
  • Neighborhood Association meeting attendance
  • Participating in a parade
  • PTO/PTA meeting attendance

Posted by Theresa Jehlik, Project Manager

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