With the reality of resources becoming scarcer, we are encouraged to be strategic in our outreach efforts. What we mean by strategic is up for debate. It could mean moving away from one off instruction offerings towards a more standardized one-size fits all approach or targeting instruction opportunities perceived to have the most bang for the buck. However being strategic shows up in your instructional outreach, I do not think it truly becomes strategic until you are able to show the impact of your offering, be it a one off or a general session.
A very good article Kate Petersen pointed my way illuminates the need for special collections to show their value by demonstrating the impact of their instructional outreach. It seems to me that this article is relevant to not only special collections but all library instruction. The authors point out that most research libraries report to ARL but ask, what are we really reporting; head count and sessions? While the numbers can become impressive over the year becoming clear that a lot of something is going on the true impact of our efforts can become lost in the numbers. Luckily the authors do suggest several ways to capture impact. It almost seems like the libraries should be attempting to leverage the impact factors John Jeffryes posted about last week.