Meeting Community Needs: a Practical Guide for Librarians
By Pamela MacKellar, Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2016, 185 pages
Sometimes just the right tool at the right time appears. Such is the newly published Meeting Community Needs, an updated, vibrant resource for New Mexico Librarians currently updating their community needs assessments. The author dispels the dated concept of “library needs” and demonstrates the value of listening and responding to “community needs”. Having explained how to determine what services and programs are wanted by the community, she offers a logical, step-by-step process with clear explanations and examples for their implementation and measuring their effectiveness.
This thorough guide is divided into clearly marked, easy to access sections with many charts and illustrations. A lengthy index directs the user to any specific part of the assessing process such as focus groups, partnering and collaborating, and timelines.
More than a manual, this guidebook reinforces the importance of community needs in creating a valued library in the 21st century as it arms librarians with data needed for budget meetings, grants, and legislators.
Review by Jill Conner, Library Director, Pueblo of Pojoaque Public Library