The Convergence of Performance and Program Assessment: A Multi-Dimensional Action Research Model for Libraries

Carol A. Gordon


This paper uses findings of a previous study (Gordon, 2006) to determine whether a multi-dimension training model is a viable evaluation instrument for performance and program assessment of school librarians and school libraries. The model has three dimensions that operate concurrently. In the first dimension school librarians co-teach an inquiry unit with classroom teachers using Authentic Teaching and Guided Inquiry. In the second dimension the school librarians identify a problem in their instructional practice and conduct action research by collecting evidence to inform programmatic and instructional decision. In the third dimension the researcher provides support for the librarians through workshops and mentoring and conducts formal research to determine the viability of the multi-dimensional model as training program. Data and findings of the primary study are applied to the case of the school library where convergence of performance assessment of librarians and assessment of the school library program is a result of a strong focus on information literacy instruction. Programmatic components such as facility, collection, and staffing are seen as the infrastructure that supports instruction. The framework for the analysis is organizational learning theory. The analysis extracts criteria from the primary study to explore the multi-dimensional model as an evaluation instrument. The following criteria were met: 1) viability; 2) validity; 3) transformation of role perception; 4) organizational learning; 5) emergence of confidence and leadership; and sustainability.



Keywords: performance assessment, program assessment, library evaluation, school libraries, action research



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