Assessing Library Summer Learning Programs
Most libraries surveyed are tracking participation in summer programming. Some are maintaining paper records and spreadsheets, while others are using on-line systems such as Evanced Wandoo Reader.
Measuring the efficacy of summer learning is a work in progress with only half of survey respondents indicating that they are doing some type of assessment and the majority (60%) indicating that measuring learning outcomes is the primary area of need for additional resources and guidance. Libraries that are working on measuring learning outcomes are mostly using pre and post surveys completed by youth participants and/or their parents, requesting self-reported feedback on variables such as time spent reading, enjoyment, comprehension and change in attitude or reading ability.
In addition to using online systems to track participation, survey respondents discussed utilizing several specific assessment tools, including Accuity, California Library Association's Summer Outcomes Survey, Counting Opinions Summer Reading Survey, Developmental Reading Assessment, DIBELS, NWEA, and OrangeBoy. However, there was no one common assessment tool being used by several libraries.
Libraries are also working on obtaining data on Spring/Fall reading scores from school districts to match with summer learning participation data to assess whether participation in summer programming affects test scores. Fourteen survey respondents indicated that they have or are developing a data-matching process on select students in a school, with an individual school or a school district. Four libraries are currently piloting such data-sharing initiatives. Six other libraries are developing memoranda of understanding for future program implementation. In many cases, the data-sharing involves a third party research organization or university, and there is noted complexity in establishing such a data exchanges.