The STEM Education Evaluation Center (SEEC) at TERC conducted an evaluation of the Backyard Wilderness educational outreach campaign, as implemented by sixteen sites (fifteen libraries and one nature center) between July 2018 and April 2019. The evaluation focused on understanding libraries’ implementation of the campaign, visitors’ experiences with the campaign’s components, and outcomes that followed from the campaign.
Evaluators analyzed quantitative and qualitative data from these sources, as well as from additional data provided by librarians (e.g., artifacts, visitation statistics), to understand how the campaign was implemented and experienced, and to identify outcomes that followed from the campaign.
Some of the key findings of this evaluation include:
• Several new or enhanced partnerships emerged among the public libraries participating in the programs and other community organizations
• Libraries were able to enhance their own capacity for new programming in the areas of environmental science and bioregional awareness
• Libraries were able to catalyze patrons’ interest nature and the environment