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Needs Analysis

If the role of a library is to provide for the information needs of the communities they serve, then the first step to meeting those needs is understanding the makeup of a community.  Just looking at current library users is misleading -- one cannot assume that those that now use a library actually are representative of the community at large.

If a library has failed to meet the needs of some community members, they are not likely to patronize that library.  Communities also change over time.  These changes can dramatically impact the demographics of the community as a whole.  

Keeping track of a community's changing demographics allows librarians to more fully understand the people they serve and how collection needs change.  This link illustrates a needs analysis I completed for the Wisconsin community of Fort Atkinson.  In my resource section, there are links to needs analysis tools.   

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