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Outreach Evaluation Series: Community Assessment


This class will help librarians and others involved in health information outreach to design quality programs and garner support for those programs by taking the right first step: collecting community and needs assessment information about the groups of people who will be involved.

Topics include collection of data to create a picture of a target community, including its needs, assets, resources, and potential obstacles that may affect the success of health information outreach efforts. This information also can be vital in winning the support of community partners and in strategic planning. For example, the information gathered in a community assessment is often used in background sections of funding proposals. Participants will learn how to use existing data, such as US Census data, state data, and local resources in community assessment. They also will learn the type of information they should seek through interviews and questionnaires. The workshop will combine lecture with interactive group exercises that allow participants to work with data and plan community assessments.


By the end of the workshop, participants should be able to:

  • Identify different sources of data (e.g., organizational records, community members) that can be used in developing community profiles
  • Describe the strengths of different data collection approaches for gaining insight into their target communities
  • Develop a plan for conducting a community assessment
  • Identify people to interview to get a more local view of their communities
  • Use community assessment information for grant proposals

Course Materials