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Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners Resource Guide Collection

Developing a Library Building Program: Collecting Data

Patience says:

Provide sufficient demographic information to enable a stranger to understand the dynamics of the present situation in town. Include an institutional analysis of library services philosophy, some statistics showing trends in circulation and reference use as well as collection growth, and a description of planning efforts to date.

Statistics are Your Friend

Your future library must be based on statistical projections for 20 years from the date of application.

  1. The library's goals, derived from the mission and values in your Long Range Plan
  2. Service population
  3. Needs assessment
  4. Area descriptions
  5. Adjacencies
  6. Shelving
  7. Data collection tools

Do you need professional help?

Public stakeholder surveys and meetings are sometimes done by a professional Library Building Consultant. This has two advantages: the consultant has experience with gathering this type of data, and s/he is a neutral party in the eyes of the community. The MBLC can provide you with a list of consultants with public library experience (the list does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation of any kind).