Community Needs Assessment Workbook

[Your Library]

[City/Town], Oklahoma

Community Needs Assessment



The [library name] serves the citizens of [city/town] and [county] in [region: central, southwest, etc.] Oklahoma. [Distinctive characteristics of your community: growing, rural/urban, industries, tourism, universities, cultural, recent disasters.]

Public libraries have historically provided information, and that primary mission has not changed. What has evolved is the format and means of access to information. Libraries today are technology centers, providing access to the internet and electronic resources, and importantly, providing instruction in the use of these technologies. Through these technologies, libraries help community members build employment skills and opportunities, learn how to find reliable health information, connect with online government services, and enrich their education.

Public libraries also serve an important function as community centers with a variety of educational and life-enhancing classes and events for all ages, meeting spaces both formal and informal, and comfortable, safe places to spend time.

In order to meet future needs strategically and to best serve the citizens of [city/town], the [library] has undertaken a community needs assessment. Through this process we gain a better understanding of our community and can therefore create programs and build services and technology that most benefit our residents. The information gained from the assessment will guide the [City/Town] Library Board in developing a five-year long-range plan that will guide future library services and resource allocation.


The methodology of the Community Needs Assessment consisted of five components and included both quantitative (statistical and documentary data bout the library and community) and qualitative (interviews and focus groups) research techniques. These components were:

  • Demographic profile.
  • Community profile.
  • Library profile.
  • Library trend analysis.
  • Community survey
  • Focus groups and stakeholder interviews [add later].

The demographic and community profiles draw upon data from the US Census Bureau, Oklahoma State agencies, and local organizations.

The library use profile is an analysis drawn from the library’s collection of data submitted through their annual report to the Oklahoma Department of Libraries.

The library trend analysis focuses on reports and studies from national library organizations and academic research.

[Add community survey description.]

[Add focus group and interviews description.]

Demographic Profile

The following demographic profile provides information about the makeup of the people of our community. Understanding who exactly the library serves allows the library to tailor services to meet existing needs and plan for future growth and changes.


Table 1: Population
Geography 2010 2016 % Change 2010-2016
Oklahoma 3,751,615  3,923,561 4.6

Source: 2010 US Census, 2016 Population Estimates, US Census Bureau.

Population projection for _______________ County in 2022: _____________________

Source: Oklahoma Department of Commerce-Oklahoma state and county population projections through 2075



Table 2: Age
City/Town County Oklahoma
2010, % 2015, % 2010, % 2015, % 2010, % 2015, %
Less than 5 years old 7.0 6.9
5 to 14 years 13.7 13.7
 15 to 19 years 7.3 6.7
 20 to 34 years 20.6 21.1
35 to 44 years 12.7 12.2
 45 to 64 years 25.6 25.1
Age 65 and older 13.3 14.2

Source: 2015 American Community Survey: American Fact Finder, US Census



___________________ city/town has ____________ veterans.

Source: 2015 American Community Survey: American Fact Finder, US Census


Race and Ethnicity

Table 3: Race alone or in combination with one or more other races
City/Town, % County, % Oklahoma, %
White 80.2
Black/African American 9.0
American Indian/Alaska Native 13.3
Asian 2.5
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander 0.2
Other 3.0

Note: some individuals identifying as more than one race may be counted more than once.

Table 4: Hispanic or Latino
City/Town, % County, % Oklahoma, %
Hispanic or Latino (of any race) 9.6
Mexican 8.0
Puerto Rican 0.4
Cuban 0.1
Other Hispanic or Latino 1.2

Source: Source: 2015 American Community Survey: American Fact Finder, US Census



Percentage of people 5 years and older in __________________ city/town that speak a language other than English: _____________________

Table 5: Speak a Language Other Than English
City/Town, % County, % Oklahoma, %
Spanish 6.7
Other Indo-European languages 0.9
Asian and Pacific Island  languages 1.5
Other languages 0.7

Source: 2015 American Community Survey: American Fact Finder, US Census



Table 6: City/Town Housing, by percentage
Household Size
1-person household
2-person household
3-person household
4-or-more-person household
Household Type
Family households
Married-couple family
Other Family
Male householder, no wife present
Female householder, no husband present
Nonfamily households
Householder living alone
Householder not living alone
Presence of Children
With related children of householder under 18 yrs
No related children of householder under 18 yrs

Source: 2015 American Community Survey, American Fact Finder, US Census



The three largest employers in _______________ City/Town are




Source: ________________________ Chamber of Commerce

Top five industries and how many employed






Source: 2015 American Community Survey, American Fact Finder, US Census

Percentage of unemployed in _________________ County, __________ 2017, not seasonally adjusted:

Percentage of unemployed in Oklahoma _________ 2017, not seasonally adjusted:

Source: Oklahoma Employment Security Commission



Table 7:  Income (in 2015 dollars)
City County Oklahoma
Median Household Income (2011-2015)
Per capita income in past 12 months (2011-2015)

Source: 2015 American Community Survey, Quick Facts, US Census

Table 8: Poverty
City, % County, % Oklahoma, %
Persons in poverty*
*estimates are not comparable across geographic entities

Source: State level – American Community Survey (ACS), one-year estimates; County level – The Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE), one-year estimates; Sub-county level: Cities, towns and census designated places; – ACS, five-year estimates, US Census



Table 9: Education
City County Oklahoma
High school graduate or higher, % of persons age 25 yrs +
Bachelor’s degree or higher, % of persons age 25 yrs +

Source: 2015 American Community Survey, Quick Facts, US Census



Oklahoma is ranked as one of the unhealthiest states in the nation, listed in 46th place in America’s Health Rankings by the United Health Foundation. Public libraries are positioned to increase health literacy in their communities. According to a 2015 Pew Research Study, 73% of people who visit public libraries in America go looking for answers about their health, using library computers or seeking assistance from librarians for health and wellness issues, including learning about medical conditions, finding health care providers, and assessing health insurance options.

Top Health Concerns

According to the State Department of Health report, Oklahoma’s State of the State of Health, _____________ County received a grade of D or F in the following:

Leading causes of death:

Disease rates:

Risk factors and behaviors:



Percentage of the civilian noninstitutionalized population of city/town without health insurance: ________

Source: 2015 American Community Survey, American Fact Finder, US Census


Physical Fitness

Physical inactivity was reported to be a leading contributor to almost 1 in 10 adult deaths in the U.S.*

Table 10: Physical Fitness
County Oklahoma United States
Physically Inactive Adults, percent

Source: 2014 ________________ County Health Profile, Oklahoma Department of Health

* Danaei, G., Ding, E. L., Mozaffarian, D., Taylor, B., Rehm, J., Murray, C. J., Ezzati, M., 2009.The preventable causes of death in the United States: Comparative risk assessment of dietary, lifestyle, and metabolic risk factors. PLoS Medicine 8(1)


Health Care Organizations



Rehabilitation hospitals and services:




Community Profile

The library partners with various organizations within the community. Resources among these community groups can be shared, recommended, and used to their best benefit.


The following are libraries in the county:








The following schools are located within our city/town and/or county:

Elementary (city/town):

Middle/Jr High (city/town):

High School (city/town):

Vocational/Technology (county):

Community College (county):

College/University (county):

Social Service Providers

Table 11: Social Services
Number in city/town Number in county (excluding city)
Nursing homes/rest homes
Day care centers, adult
Child care service
Chemical dependence treatment
Youth organizations and centers

Community Organizations

Table 12: Community Organizations
Number in city/town*
Churches/Religious Organizations
Civic clubs
Other clubs
Fraternal organizations

Cultural Organizations



Government Offices







Library Profile

Annual Report Statistics

The library reports annually to the Oklahoma Department of Libraries on services provided, materials purchased and circulated, program attendance and much more.

Source for the following information: library annual report data as collected by the Oklahoma Department of Libraries and compiled by Bibliostat Connect.

2016 Annual Report Data

Annual library visits:

Annual reference transactions:

Registered users:

Total staff (FTE):

Print materials:

e-Book collection:

Audio collection:

e-Audio collection:

Video collection:

e-Video collection:

Print serial subscriptions:

Circulation of all materials:

Yearly programs:

Yearly program attendance:

Reader seats:

ILL received:

ILL provided:

Weekly hours:

Internet computers used by general public:

Uses of public internet computers, per year:

Wireless sessions:

Annual operating revenue:

Annual total operating expenditures:

Library usage over time

Annual Internet Users

[Insert chart from Bibliostat]

Annual Circulation of All Materials

[Insert chart from Bibliostat]

Summer Children and Teen Program Attendance

[Insert chart from Bibliostat]

Annual Library Visits

[Insert chart from Bibliostat]


SWOT Analysis [optional]

Community Survey [optional]

Focus Groups and Stakeholder Interviews [optional]

Library Trend Analysis [optional]

Librarians today are often asked the question, “Aren’t libraries going to be obsolete since we have the internet and e-books now?” No, libraries are not going to be obsolete; in fact, with the internet, libraries are needed more than ever. In today’s technological world, it is virtually impossible to find success if you can’t access the Internet or if you don’t have the skills to use the Internet once you have accessed it. Many vital tasks these days can only be accomplished online, especially filling out job applications and accessing government services. In 2015, only 67% of adults had broadband at home1. Oklahoma falls in the bottom quarter of states in households that have broadband subscriptions2. Where do those that don’t have broadband access the internet? Their local public library.

Public libraries are important to individuals, families, and communities. In the 2012 Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project surveys, 76% of Americans reported that libraries are important to them and their families, while 91% reported that public libraries are important to their community as a whole3. In the previous 12 months, 59% of Americans ages 16 and older had at least one of the following interactions with a public library: 53% visited a library or bookmobile, 25% visited a library website, and 13% used a handheld device such as a smartphone or tablet computer to access a library website4. Many Americans interact with their public libraries, and almost all find these experiences to be either very positive (57%) or mostly positive (41%), while only about 1% report that their experiences were negative5.

In 2009 45% of the 169 million visitors to public libraries used a library computer or wireless network to access the Internet, even though more than three-quarters of these people had Internet access at home, work, or elsewhere6. People use public computers at the library because they do not have access elsewhere, need faster Internet speed, want technical help from a librarian, compete for access to a computer at home, or simply want to be in the library atmosphere7.  Public Internet access has become an integral function of today’s libraries.

Internet is important for public libraries because it is essential for success in American life. High-speed Internet, or broadband, is a communications infrastructure network and a foundation for economic growth, job creation, global competitiveness, and a better way of life8. Access to the Internet is so important, the term “digital divide” is used to describe the gap between those who have access and those who do not. Without access the Internet, an individual’s ability to fully engage in society is significantly obstructed, especially in education, employment, government, civic participation, and socialization9. Access to the Internet has evolved from a useful resource to an essential one, and the failure to close the gap for at-risk populations will only further the divide for future10.

Availability of the Internet is not the only issue. A person needs to have “digital literacy”—the skills and abilities necessary to navigate the technology11. Digital literacy education must be provided in order to successfully close the digital divide12. “Digital inclusion” is policy developed to address the digital divide and promote digital literacy through outreach to unserved and underserved populations13. Digital inclusion means that all community members understand the benefits of information and communication technologies; have equitable and affordable access to high-speed Internet-connected devices and online content; and can take advantage of the educational, economic, and social opportunities available through these technologies14. Digital inclusion builds healthy and prosperous communities in areas of economic and workforce development, education, health care, public safety and emergency services, civic engagement, and social connections15.

Public libraries have become community technology centers, offering high-speed broadband, public internet access computers, digital resources, and importantly, training to help library patrons learn how to use the technology. The transformation into technology centers brings challenges to libraries. Keeping up with changing technology requires steady funding to purchase equipment, materials, and software and technical knowledge to know how to make it all work. Rural libraries face even more challenges as they struggle with limited funds and low staff numbers.


  1. Horrigan, John B. and Maeve Duggan. 2015. Home Broadband 2015. Pew Research Center., 2.
  2. United States Census Bureau. 2017. The Digital Divide – Percentage of Households With Broadband Internet Subscription by State. Last modified, September 8, 2017.
  3. Zickuhr, Kathryn, Lee Rainie, and Kristen Purcell. 2013. Library Services in the Digital Age. Washington DC: Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project., 18-19.
  • Zickuhr, et al., 18.
  • Becker, Samantha, Michael D. Crandall, Karen E. Fisher, Bo Kinney, Carol Landry, and Anita Rocha. 2010. Opportunity for All: How the American Public Benefits from Internet Access at U.S. Libraries. (IMLS-2010-RES-01). Washington, D.C.: Institute of Museum and Library Services., 1.
  • Becker, et al., 2.
  • Federal Communications Commission (FCC). 2010. Connecting America: The National Broadband Plan. Washington DC: Federal Communications Commission., 3.
  • Jaeger, Paul T., John Carlo Bertot, Kim M. Thompson, Sarah M. Katz, and Elizabeth J. DeCoster. 2012. “The Intersection of Public Policy and Public Access: Digital Divides, Digital Literacy, Digital Inclusion, and Public Libraries.” Public Library Quarterly 31, 3.
  • Weiss, Robert J. 2012. “Libraries and the Digital Divide.” Journal of the Leadership & Management Section 8, no. 2,26.
  • Real, Brian, John Carlo Bertot, and Paul Jaeger. 2014. “Rural Public Libraries and Digital Inclusion: Issues and Challenges.” Information Technology & Libraries 33, no. 1, 8.
  • Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), University of Washington, International City/ County Management Association. 2012. Building Digital Communities: A framework for action. Washington, DC: Institute of Museum and Library Services., 56.
  • Jaeger, et al, 3.
  • IMLS, et al., 1.
  • IMLS, et al., 3.