Evaluation is a process that each of us uses every day. Professionals in any field of human services must have the means to access and assess information. Having information is not enough, however, unless that information can be applied and used. To organize and manage recreation services (i.e., all elements related to the various specialties in the field such as parks, tourism, sports, arts, therapeutic recreation, camping, event management), information is needed about peoples preferences, needs, and behaviors and the programs, administrative structures, and resources that comprise the organizations. To build a body of knowledge and to document the value of recreation, systematic processes are necessary. Evaluation and research can provide information that will enable "enlightened decisions." Evaluating Recreation Services: Making Enlightened Decisions, Fourth Edition, is about systematic evaluation and research that focuses specifically on identifying explicit evaluation criteria or research questions, collecting evidence or data, and making judgments about the value or the worth of something applied to service improvement or knowledge development. This book aims to provide a basic overview and working knowledge of procedures. Knowing basic steps in evaluation research and having some familiarity with evaluation and research tools can help you to begin a process of lifelong learning about systematic inquiry.