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Needs assessment is about identifying the needs of the local population, so that services can be planned and delivered to meet those needs. Local needs assessment will help to establish the extent and nature of the drug problem in an area, describe the socio-demographic profile of users and examine the common referral routes. This will help build up a picture of the needs of the population. Needs assessment is an integral part of other strategic initiatives, such as reducing waiting times.
Effective Interventions Unit Guide to Needs Assessment Summary
Quantitative and qualitative measurement of the degree to which a library ’s collection s, services, and programs meet the needs of its users, usually undertaken with the aim of improving performance. Assessment is accomplished by various methods, including direct observation, analysis of feedback obtained through interviews, user survey s, testing, etc. When conducted by the library, rather than an outside agency , the process is known as self-assessment . See also : Measurement, Assessment, and Evaluation Section ; outcomes assessment ; and quality of service.
Needs assessment is the process of collecting and analyzing information that can then be used in decision making. It’s likely that you’ll want to conduct needs assessments in many areas of your program.
You can conduct a formal or informal needs assessment.
In a small school library or a small public library, materials are usually evaluated on their current usefulness and their level of circulation. The mission of such libraries is typically to provide up-to-date, popular materials. Except for a few classics, books that no longer reflect up-to-date facts or the current thinking about a subject do not fit into the mission of such a library. In most cases, books that have not circulated in five years also may not fit the mission.
Collection Assessment and the Collection Development Policy Alternative Basic Library Education (ABLE) Course 2: Collection Assessment
Does this material complement, enrich, and extend the educational goals, philosophies, and curriculum of the school and the district? Do you know what new topics are being covered in your classrooms, and do you have materials to support those topics? Are you communicating with your teachers about current and future resource requirements? Don’t wait for the teachers to tell you what they will need: sometimes they haven’t had time to think that far ahead.
Comparing the quality and quantity of materials in a school library ’s collection with the content of the school’s curriculum at all grade levels to reveal strengths and weaknesses, facilitate collection development , and identify areas that need weeding .
June 17, 2010 Needs Assessment
Advice on curriculum mapping June 17, 2010 Needs Assessment
Step one in collection development June 17, 2010 Needs Assessment
A nonpublic catalog of a library collection containing a single bibliographic record for each item , filed in the order in which the items are arranged on the shelf (usually by call number ), used for inventory because it contains the most current information on copy and volume holdings . Card shelflists are being phased out by libraries that have converted their catalogs to machine-readable records .
Most library software programs have built-in collection tools that measure the number of books and average age of the collection by Dewey classification. School libraries can also export collection records to TitleWise , a free collection analysis service provided by Follett Library Products and Services.
Kirsten L. Marie, “ From theory to practice: a new teacher-librarian tackles 1ibrary assessment .” Teacher Librarian 33, no. 2 (2005).
TitleWise takes the guesswork out of collection development. It is the quickest, easiest, and most comprehensive online collection analysis tool available! This service is available at no charge to all Follett Library Resources customers. Within minutes of sending us your data, you’ll receive reports detailing the make-up of your collection (paying special attention to those age-sensitive Dewey ranges), comparing your collection to other grade-appropriate recommended school library collections, and detailing incomplete records.
. . . select your automation system under “Circulation System Export Instructions.” You are instructed to pull up all your holdings (or the section you want analyzed), select “all,” name your file, and save to a disk or even the desktop (which is probably the easiest way to do it). Once that step is complete, you export the file you saved.
An eighteen-page analysis is returned in minutes. The cover sheet declares it to be a Title Wise Collection Analysis with your school’s name printed on it.
The complete analysis is ideal to share with your administration along with a suggested plan for how to bring the collection up to date.
Library media specialists are encouraged to use this form to create a curriculum map, which will provide a snapshot of the implemented curriculum in their school, and a collection map which will provide a snapshot of how the current library resource collection can support the school 's curriculum. LMS Word format (155 Kb)
Is this material appropriate for the age, emotional development, ability levels, learning styles, and social development of the students in *this* school, at *this* time? Keep in mind that we are being paid to provide relevant resources, not administer an archive. One particular middle school’s book collection had some glaring gaps as well as aging artifacts – the building had been a Junior/Senior (gr. 7-12) high for many years; . . . and nothing had ever been weeded!
Have you carefully checked the age-appropriateness and relevancy of those URL’s, AND posted a disclaimer on your website, just in case?
Including children’s preferences in the building of school library collections makes sense because children are the actual consumers of the resources.
An important part of becoming an effective reader is to be able to select reading materials with relative ease and facility. Regrettably, what children prefer to read is often not available in schools.
Thus, every effort should be made to purchase materials that children will actually read and enjoy.
Joseph Sanacore, Teacher-librarians, Teachers, and Children as Cobuilders of School Library Collections . Teacher Librarian 33, 5 (June 2006).
Learners . . . benefit from meeting with their teacher or teacher-librarian to talk about books they are currently reading or just finished reading. These conferences help educators gain insights about children’s decoding and meaning-making strategies through such activities as conducting running records, encouraging retellings, and motivating personal responses. These immediate connections to children’s self-selected materials are important venues for determining children's reading interests.
Joseph Sanacore, Teacher-librarians, Teachers, and Children as Cobuilders of School Library Collections .
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Asking formally June 17, 2010 Needs Assessment
Through circulation analysis, I could identify strengths and weaknesses from patterns of use, with the goal of making the collection more relevant and responsive to the needs of its users. I could also identify little-used items that could be discarded completely.
. . . according to the 2003 National School Climate Survey, a biannual study by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (see “Out and lgnored,” pp. 46-50) . . . nearly 50 percent of the high school students surveyed say they have no access to gay-related resources in their media centers.
The professional collection in a school library should be carefully selected to meet the demands of the teachers, administrators, counselors and teacher-librarians who are to use them. The hallmark of an outstanding professional collection in library resource centers is heavy usage of the resources by faculty members ( Wilson, 2000 ).
In order to have an outstanding professional collection, the teacher-librarian must identify the needs of the instructional curriculum and identify the teachers’ characteristics, preferred teaching methods, instructional needs and information needs (Van Orden, 1995).
Jordan, J. The Professional Collection: The Teachers’ Professional Collection Materials: Stimulating Use . Teacher Librarian [serial online]. December 2001;29(2):18.
1 : a unified body of individuals: as a : state , commonwealth b : the people with common interests living in a particular area; broadly : the area itself <the problems of a large community> c : an interacting population of various kinds of individuals (as species) in a common location
From Warrior Librarian Original Library Humour: In Dewey (Shelf) Order
025.2 Collection Development
Fictional Titles: Books Not Yet Written New Book Titles (Covers) Math For the Masses: Fiction and Non-fiction More New Books for Realistic Libraries Serials with Popular Appeal Thin Books for Busy Librarians
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A Vital Latin Phrase for collection development
In response to patron evaluation of a book:
“ This book sucks”
Your response: “Nullus est liber tam malus ut non aliqua parte prosit.”
Translation: “There is no book so bad that it is not profitable in part.” (Pliny the Younger).
Biblia’s Warrior Librarian , “ Vital Latin Phrases for Librarians .”