Windshield Survey And Community Assessment Diagnosis

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WIndshield Survey and Community Assessment Diagnosis

WIndshield Survey and Community Assessment Diagnosis


A community assessment is basically a description of a community and its people. The purpose is to identify the needs of a community in order to provide services appropriate to those needs.

Data collection does not need to be extensive but should be adequate to identify needs and priorities in support of planning decisions. It should take into account some of the cultural, economic and physical conditions that make up the community.


Both formal and informal assessment methods can be used. It is a good idea to obtain information from at least three different sources. The following suggestions are from the NN/LM GMR Outreach Symposium


Demographic data - much of this data comes from the census and statistical abstracts. The Florida State University, in conjunction with the Institute of Museum and Library Services, has created the Public Library Geographic Database Mapping tool ( Using this, you can locate your library on a map, and immediately find out population characteristics from the US Census.

Surveys - funding is not always available to conduct a survey; however on occasion funding might be available to purchase survey results from some other source.

Key Informant Interviews - these are interviews with members of the community with whom you have established trust. They might be respected members of the community or group that you are planning to work with.

Focus Groups - can be time consuming and difficult to organize; however can reveal information not apparent to project initiators.

Community Functions and/or Meetings - in order to study a community by taking part in community meetings, you must know the role of attendees, including yourself. In some Native American cultures, Listening Circles are methods of information sharing that can be very useful.


Windshield survey - drive around the ...
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