by Rebecca Teasdale, Principal, Rebecca Teasdale & Associates
Excellent library programs are grounded in a deep understanding of community needs. I’ve seen this firsthand in nearly two decades of working in and with libraries—and I’ve also seen how programming staff can struggle to determine what, exactly, those needs are.
In fall 2017, the NILPPA team surveyed 1,249 programming staff nationwide from all types of libraries to identify the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully run public programs. Community-related knowledge and skills was a common theme, with 28% of respondents mentioning “community” in their answers. This included knowledge of the community, investment in the community, partnerships in the community, and analysis of the community.
To learn more, the NILPPA team conducted discussion forums and interviews in January 2018 with 41 staff members who worked in public, school, academic, and tribal libraries. Across all library types, participants discussed the importance of assessing community needs to understand how programming could be most valuable.Read more