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We're Glad You're Here! Getting to Know a New Community through Community Assesssment

Class Description

Community assessment is the essential fact-finding phase of program development. You form a picture of a target community so that you can develop effective programs and services. But community assessment can be so much more! It provides opportunities to meet leaders who provide entry into the community, initiate relationships with potential collaborators or partners, and express your interest in the lives of the people you want to serve. In this workshop, participants will learn a four-step process for conducting community assessment that includes data collection, interpretation, and use. The relationship-building potential of each step will be discussed.

By the end of the session, you will be able to:

  • Take an inventory of your current level of knowledge about your community of interest.
  • Assemble a team of advisors to get you started on collecting information about a community of interest.
  • Identify sources of existing information to increase your knowledge about the community.
  • Develop a plan for collecting new information to add important details to your emerging picture of the community.
  • Develop strategies for analyzing data that involves participation of key stakeholders.

Continuing Education

Upon successful completion of this class, each participant will receive 4 hours of continuing education credit awarded by the Medical Library Association.


This session is offered by Cynthia Olney, PhD, of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine Outreach Evaluation Resource Center. Cindy has been an evaluation specialist since 1991 and has worked with the OERC since 2004. She specializes in providing evaluation consultation to libraries, public health departments, and community-based organizations.