ALA’s Public Programs Office has received a $512,000 National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for a research project to understand and document the characteristics, audiences, outcomes and value of U.S. library public programming.
“Libraries have expanded from collection holders and lenders to centers for lifelong experiential learning, hubs for civic and cultural gatherings, and partners in community-wide innovation. Although data has been gathered for usage, popularity and the match of programs to community need for decades, contemporary data-gathering must be expanded and integrated into programs to illustrate 21st-century impact," said ALA President Julie Todaro. “This initiative will give us the data we need to better understand the critical impact of library programming and prepare future generations of library professionals to excel in this work.”
The project, National Impact of Library Public Programs Assessment (NILPPA): Phase I, will implement the first research recommendation that came out of an IMLS National Leadership planning grant in 2014. Read the December 2014 NILPPA white paper. 
The first-of-its-kind project, conducted in collaboration with the New Knowledge Organization  think tank, will bring together a network of researchers, practitioner-researchers, and advisors to answer two research questions: How can we characterize and categorize public programs offered by libraries today? And what competencies and training are required for professionals working with library programming?
A series of surveys will be disseminated to library practitioners to help map the existing landscape of library public programming, including program types, topics, formats, audiences, partner relationships and current competencies, and also to identify those skills required in the field that, perhaps, are not being adequately taught in formal learning settings.
NILPPA: Phase I is made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services grant number LG-96-17-0048-17.