Evaluation planning for the Five-Year Plan developed concurrently with the design of the plan. The State Library cares about New Hampshire's libraries and librarians and is committed to providing the best services possible within financial constraints. By simply documenting, rather than assessing, New Hampshire's present socioeconomic and demographic characteristics, the State Library better understands the context and needs in which programs are implemented and evaluation conducted. Needs have been identified through the findings of Focus Group Surveys and the evaluation of New Hampshire's 1997-2002 Five-Year Plan. This documentation laid the groundwork for realistic goals and the resultant objectives in this plan.
Measuring progress and impact in terms of goals and objectives will be determined by convincing evidence that a program is a success. While a program is in progress, intermediate indicators such as qualitative and quantitative data will help shape the final evidence for program outcomes. Tally sheets, user surveys, numbers and percentages will provide quantitative data, while qualitative data will be gathered through participant information, observations, interviews, personal stories, interest levels, and survey reviews. As a general rule, the New Hampshire State Library is using these qualitative and quantitative measures because they are the most feasible in terms of staffing and resources.
In particular, to determine the outcome of New Hampshire's emergent/early literacy efforts, standardized state tests scores for third graders will be examined. Statistics and percentages for library connectivity and participation in available statewide services will be compared with baseline information gathered at the beginning of the program. Evaluating or judging the quality or value of a program while it is in progress and upon its completion will quantify the amount of change experienced by program participants. Subgrantee final reports provide regular feedback and will be an essential component in the evaluation process.
Upon approval of the 2002-2007 Five-Year Plan by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the New Hampshire State Library Advisory Council (NHSLAC) will receive final copies and track progress and expenditures of federal funds each year. This plan will be made available to all libraries and New Hampshire citizens by means of the New Hampshire State Library LSTA web site.