Research Institute for Public Libraries

What's New?

The Colorado State Library and the Colorado Library Consortium are excited to announce that the next Research Institute for Public Libraries (RIPL) national event will occur July 12-15, 2020, at the Eaglewood Resort in the Chicago suburb of Itasca, Illinois.

RIPL began in 2015 as an immersive, bootcamp-style event for public library staff to learn practical methods for gathering, analyzing, and using data for planning, management, and communicating impact. Now, after 3 national events and 25 regional events, it’s time for the next wave.

At the 2020 national event, we will debut a new format, tailored to meeting the needs of those just getting started with data and evaluation as well as data geeks, and for people new to RIPL as well as RIPL alumni. What’s not changing? Hands-on, experiential learning; an immersive, camp-like experience (with better accommodations!); and the opportunity to connect with instructors and library staff from around the US and beyond who are passionate about creating data-powered libraries.

The registration fee and other details will be announced in fall 2019, and registration will open February 3, 2020.

Don’t want to wait until summer 2020? We’re also offering the following regional events:

  • Montana RIPL Regional: Billings, Montana, October 7-8, 2019. Registration opens July 1 for Montana and Wyoming residents and August 1 for all others.
  • South Carolina RIPL Regional: Columbia, South Carolina, March 31-April 1, 2020. More details will be available in Fall 2019.

What is a RIPL Regional? It’s a scaled-down version of the national data boot camp – 2 days, 4 instructors, and approximately 75 participants (depending on the event) that provides the training necessary to begin using data and evaluation for managing, planning, and communicating impact.

To receive announcements about future RIPL events, please subscribe for updates at the bottom of the page.

Hosting An Event

Are you interested in hosting a RIPL event? We offer 1- and 2-day workshops for local/regional audiences. For more information, please contact

New Evaluation Training Opportunity for Public Libraries in California, Colorado, and North Carolina

Do you have a brilliant idea for evaluating a library program or service but don’t know how to get started? Did you participate in RIPL and need some ongoing support to realize your big ideas? Do you supervise a public library evaluation coordinator or data librarian and find it challenging to position them for success? Embedding Evaluation in Libraries: Developing Internal Evaluators is the training program for you!

This new, nine-month team-based training opportunity for public library staff in California (2019-2020), Colorado (2020-2021), and North Carolina (2021-2022) will help you build your evaluation knowledge and skills, embed evaluation in your library, and develop a network of like-minded peers throughout your state. Embedding Evaluation in Libraries is brought to you by RIPL instructor Rebecca Teasdale and RIPL director Linda Hofschire, in partnership with Califa Group. For more information, please see the Embedding Evaluation website.

Community of Practice

Want to connect with others interested in public library data and evaluation? Join the RIPL Online Community of Practice, available to anyone interested in these topics (not just RIPL alumni). It includes discussion forums, opportunities for file-sharing (such as infographics, surveys, etc.), and a quarterly webinar series. Check it out here and sign up for an account here.


Launched in 2015 by the Colorado State Library (CSL) and the Colorado Library Consortium (CLiC), RIPL is a singular event for public library leaders and others interested in public library data and evaluation. In this immersive, bootcamp-style event, participants learn practical, strategic methods of gathering, analyzing, and using data for planning, management, and communicating impact.

We offer national (3 days, 20+ instructors, 150 participants) and regional (1-2 days, 1-4 instructors,  25-75 participants) events, drawing participants from around North America who convene for this intensive, experiential learning opportunity. As of June 2019, RIPL events have been held in 15 states.

This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.


Date Event Type* Location Host (in parternship with CSL and CLiC) Website
August 7-8, 2019 RIPL Regional East Lansing, Michigan Library of Michigan
September 4-7, 2019 1 Day Preconference
at the Association for
Rural and Small Libraries Conference
Burlington, Vermont ARSL
October 7-8, 2019 RIPL Regional Billings, Montana Montana State Library
March 31-April 1, 2020 RIPL Regional Columbia, South Carolina South Carolina State Library TBA
July 12-15, 2020 RIPL Itasca, Illinois Not Applicable TBA

* RIPL Regional: 2 days, 4 instructors, 50 participants from state/surrounding region

* RIPL: 3 days, 15+ instructors, up to 150 participants from around the United States and beyond


RIPL participants work in public libraries and are …

interested in getting started using data for savvy and strategic planning.
looking for both inspiration and instruction in a hands-on, participatory environment.
seeking to learn about outcomes and how to measure library impact.
committed to leading their organizations in making data-based decisions.
eager to develop a peer network to support research and evaluation efforts.

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