Community analysis

When planning a series of early literacy programs for a community, public library staff are encouraged to complete a community analysis.

The best early literacy programming for a community will be based on a good understanding of the local community and its needs.

The Library Community Analysis template  is designed guide you through developing a profile of the children and families in your area.

Step One

Decide if your community analysis will be for the whole local government area (LGA) or the community that is served by a branch library. In a large library service or regional service the branches may operate in very different communities, a site-by-site analysis may be more helpful than one that covers the entire LGA. For example, some parts of an LGA may have intergenerational literacy challenges or include many single-parent families or have many grandparents who are primary carers, while others do not. Awareness of these characteristics will help to shape early literacy sessions to meet community needs.

Step Two

Using the questions and resources below, collect the data about your community.

Step Three

What does the data tell you about your community and how they will access the library’s early literacy sessions? For example, information about local transport options (e.g. bus and train timetables) should be considered when designing the schedule of storytime sessions. And, if a community has one or two dominant languages other than English (LOTE), there may be greater demand for storytime in those languages.