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Innovative impact planning and assessment through global libraries: Sustaining innovation during a time of transition

David Streatfield (Information Management Associates, Twickenham, UK)
Richard Abisla (Caravan Studios, Division of TechSoup, San Francisco, California, USA)
Violeta Bunescu (IREX, Romania)
Marcel Chiranov (Performance Management, Bucharest, Romania)
Camila Garroux (Independent Consultant, São Paulo, Brazil)
Artiom Maister (Novateca, Chişinău, Moldova)
Luis González Martín (Fundación Germán Sánchez Ruipérez, Madrid, Spain)
Jeremy Paley (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle, Washington, USA)
Simon Rae-Scott (ConnectWorks, London, UK)

Performance Measurement and Metrics

ISSN: 1467-8047

Article publication date: 8 August 2019

Issue publication date: 8 August 2019




The purpose of this paper is to report a range of innovative approaches, methods and tools for evaluating the impact of public libraries and supporting the development of library leaders drawn from projects supported by the Global Libraries initiative of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.


A range of approaches, tools and methods are described by specialist staff who were directly involved with these innovations.


Some comments are provided on the effectiveness of these innovations.

Research limitations/implications

All of these innovations have been tried out in public library settings, usually over a period of years.

Practical implications

All of the selected innovations could be adapted and used by library leaders or impact specialists.

Social implications

Several of the innovations are specifically designed to engage library staff and users in evaluation processes.


The impact planning and assessment programme of GL was the largest sustained international public library evaluation programme so far attempted. This paper reports on the more innovative evaluation activities undertaken through this programme.



Streatfield, D., Abisla, R., Bunescu, V., Chiranov, M., Garroux, C., Maister, A., González Martín, L., Paley, J. and Rae-Scott, S. (2019), "Innovative impact planning and assessment through global libraries: Sustaining innovation during a time of transition", Performance Measurement and Metrics, Vol. 20 No. 2, pp. 74-84.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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