The Tavistock Institute was commissioned by the Museums and Libraries and Archives (MLA) to evaluate the impact of the Framework for the Future (F4F) action plan on library services and the public library system, in support of the further improvement and development of the Framework action plan.
A steering committee composed of representatives of Society of Chief Librarians (SCL), Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) and MLA had been formed to advise and direct the evaluation. The formative evaluation ran from August 2005 to September 2006, with the bulk of the work completed by February 2006.
The formative evaluation consists of the following sequential activities:
- A review of all available documentation on F4F activities with a particular emphasis on mapping the interrelations of programme objectives and activities and marshalling evidence on the outcomes and impact of activities
- In-depth fieldwork aimed at developing a deeper understanding of the actual and potential impact of F4F activities
- Workshops with deliverers of the action plan – on the experience of supporting library service improvement and development, and heads of library services and other actors – on reviewing and rebalancing the F4F action plan in the light of the learning from the field research
- Overall assessment of the impact of the F4F action plan activities by means of a national survey developed on the basis of understandings gained from the in-depth fieldwork and the workshops.