Identifying Community Needs
Prince George’s County Library System (pop. 904,430) in Maryland has developed a community survey to understand how the community is using and accessing the library digitally. The survey asks about the creation of new online offerings including a podcast and looks for community suggestions. A thorough consideration of survey results have been compiled in a report to share with library leadership.
Libraries with an active Edge subscription can access two new toolkits with resources to help you identify and assess how your library can fill the needs of your individual community.
- The Community Data Toolkit provides resources for developing your Edge Community Profile and identifying other national and local data sources to develop broad understanding of your community.
- The Community Needs Assessment Toolkit, developed by ULC in collaboration with the Research Institute for Public Libraries, provides a roadmap to conducting a Community Needs Assessment to identify your community’s digital inclusion needs and inform your strategic planning.
Both of these toolkits are timely in light of planning for your library's response to the COVID-19 outbreak. You can access Edge toolkits by creating an Edge account or logging into your Edge account.
The U.S. Census Bureau has developed an interactive data hub which allows you to generate a state and county report with key data points related to the COVID-19 outbreak, including health insurance coverage, older adults and households participating in government assistance programs. These data points may inform planning for your community’s recovery from the COVID-19 outbreak.
Statistics Canada updates their COVID-19: A data perspective web page regularly. In addition to a mapping hub, resources are available for identifying related health, labor and economic data.