Community Analysis (Example Attached) Prepare a community analysis of a REAL public library with the minimum following content. You may add more as you see fit. 1. List the name, location, and description of the library selected in an introductory paragraph. 2. Detail the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of the library patrons and of the community it serves. 3. What access do patrons have to outside resources – interlibrary loans, computer databases, etc.? 4. What is the relationship between the community and the library collection? 5. What sources were used to obtain the information for the community analysis? 6. Reference your textbook for supporting documentation and provide citations for all sources consulted. Reference Text: Johnson, Peggy. Fundamentals of Collection Development and Management—3rd ed. ALA, 2014. 978-083891191-4) 7. Summarize your findings in a concluding paragraph.
Example of a Community Analysis
History & Geography & Description:
The Rutland Free Library service area encompasses Rutland Town, Rutland City,
Mendon, Ira, and Tinmouth, a non-contiguous set of towns in Rutland County.
The library is located in Rutland City, walking distance from downtown Rutland.
Rutland City covers 8.3 square miles, or about 5,230 acres of mostly level and
gently sloping land. The elevation ranges from approximately 500 to 900 feet
above sea level. To the east are the ski resorts of the Green Mountains —
Killington, Pico and Shrewsbury. To the west of Rutland are the Taconics and New
York State. Rutland is at the crossroads of US Route 4, connecting east-west to
White River Junction and Glens Falls, N.Y., and US Route 7, connecting northsouth
to Burlington and Bennington. The two routes are major highways and have
a bifurcating effect on the towns they go through. The service area of the library
surrounds this intersection on all four sides. Rutland was the seat of the state
legislature from 1784 to 1804. Growth was spurred by the arrival of the railroad in
1850. Incorporated as a city in 1892 Rutland had a population of 16,000. Rutland
County historically was a transportation, commercial, and manufacturing center.
During the 1920’s Rutland was a center of commerce, supplying the needs of the
railroads, the construction trade and the marble industry. Rutland was the hub of
a railroad system that connected the Eastern Seaboard to the Saint Lawrence
seaway. After World War II, the marble industry declined, followed by a decline in
the machine industries, discontinuation of passenger rail service in 1954, and the
demolition of the railroad complex in 1964. The retail commercial sectors and
service industries, which support the tourist trade, are currently significant parts
of the economy.
A note about percentages: since the populations of Mendon, Tinmouth and Ira are
so small compared to Rutland town and city, smaller numbers of people can cause
large fluctuations in percentages. Where possible actual numbers are used
alongside percentages to highlight this. The total population of the library’s
service area (LSA) is a bit over 22,000 people. Most of the data in this analysis is
from the 2000 Census, the Long Range Plan, or more recent data sets.
Rutland has a larger senior population than the state as a whole, and a smaller
child and young adult population. Trends in this direction include [from the longrange
plan] • The population under the age of five will decline • Elementary
school age population ages (5-14) will increase by 1% • The 25-44 age group will
expand by 1.6% • The number of people over 75 is expected to increase by 17%
Racially, the LSA is not dissimilar from many other parts of Vermont. 98% of the
LSA reports themselves to be White with less than 200 people each of Asian,
Black, American Indian or Hispanic/Latin race. Less than one percent of the LSA
population considers themselves to be biracial.
The homeownership rate of Rutland County is 68.4 percent, 31.6 percent of the
housing units are occupied by renters. Due to the LSA’s proximity to the winter
skiing areas, and it being one of the actual urban areas nearby, there are a lot of
seasonally occupied homes as well as seasonal visitors. This is the case much
more for Mendon, on the East side of the LSA, than Ira or Rutland City. Affordable
housing for larger households is getting tougher to come by in the LSA according
to the Housing Assistance Council who states in their report:
Social service and housing providers noted a lack of affordable housing units for
larger households. There is also a shortage of single-room-occupancy (SRO) units
to accommodate single people or people with special needs, particularly people
making the transition from homelessness. The affordable housing that is available
was generally described as being in substandard condition or needing
rehabilitation. This housing is also expensive for low-income households. In 1990,
over 43 percent of Rutland County’s renter households paid more than 30 percent
of their monthly income for rent, and 24 percent of homeowners were similarly
Resources & Organizations
The library service area is home to many social service areas, particularly those
that work with seniors. Almost 17% of the local population is employed in the
government sector. The library service area is home to at least 35 houses of
worship, primarily Christian, and several fraternal or social orders including the
Knights of Columbus, Loyal Order of Moose, several Masonic Lodges including the
Vermont Lodge of Research, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Exactly 7.7% of the LSA population is in elementary school and 7.7% is in
secondary school. According to the Long Range Plan: Twelve public schools and at
least five private schools serve children and teens in the area. A technical school is
incorporated into the public school program, also offering numerous night classes
for the community. The city is home to one community college and one private
college and near to one of the regional state colleges in Castleton.
There are 99 homeschooled students in Rutland County according to the State Department of
Education’s Home Study Program.
Local media that serves the area includes a daily paper [Rutland Herald circ,
22,000], two weeklies [The Mountain Times & Sam’s Good News circ 13,000], and
a monthly [The Rutland Business Journal circ, 10,000]. Local radio stations include
Vermont Public Radio VPR 88.9 FM, Cat Country WJAN 94.5 FM, WEBK 105.3 FM,
WHDQ Q106 FM, WJJR 98.1 FM, WVNR 1340 AM, WZRT 97.1 FM, WSYB 1380 AM.
Local-ish TV stations are WCAX Channel 3, WPTZ Channel 5, WNNE Channel 31,
The WB/WWIN TV and Community Access Channel 15. There are four bookstores
in the area: one chain-type store in the mall; one antique and rare book dealer;
and two general purpose bookstores. The LSA is served by four video stores and
one CD and record store. According to the Long Range Plan The Rutland Free
Library is the largest public library in the area, but not the only one. Eight other
public libraries in the county serve local residents in small towns surrounding
Rutland City. Libraries at the College of St. Joseph and Castleton State College
open their doors to the public for some services. Also of note is the Rutland
Community Correctional Center Library at Marble Valley Correctional Center and
the Health Sciences Library at the Rutland Regional Medical Center. Tinmouth has
a small all-volunteer library in town, the Tinmouth Public Library. With the
exception of one small laundromat in town with some fee-based public access,
Internet access is available either by paying a monthly fee to an Internet Service
Provider [involving having your own computer, phone line, etc] or going to the
public library or the libraries at one of the schools.
The downtown Rutland area has a large parking garage and on-street parking and
is served by the low or no cost Rutland bus system [thebus.com] which also serves
some of the outlying areas but not the entire LSA. The bus stops about two blocks
from the library, but not within sight of the library. There is some street parking
available near the library with mostly metered spots and a few free spots a short
walk away that are frequently filled.
Rutland is served by regular Amtrak and Greyhound bus services and has a small airport that mostly
transports people to the large airports in Manchester, New York and Burlington.
Rutland is served by regular Amtrak and Greyhound bus services and has a small
airport that mostly transports people to the large airports in Manchester, New
York and Burlington.
Economic Life & Well-Being
The library service area includes very economically disparate areas. Tinmouth and
Ira are primarily rural. Rutland City and Rutland town are more urban and the
Mendon area has a larger seasonal population and is affected more by the
proximity of the ski resorts and the tourist population.
The two major industry types in the area are Services (29.4%) Retail (18.9%)
followed closely by Government (16.9%) and Manufacturing (16.9%). The largest
employers are General Electric Co, Killington Ltd and Rutland Regional Medical
Center (all 1000+ employees) followed by the State of Vermont (between 500-
1000 employees) and smaller employers such as Carris Reels, Central Vermont
Public Service Corp, Metromail Corporation, Price Chopper, Rutland Area
Community Services, Rutland Area Visiting Nurse Association, and Vermont State
Colleges. According to a case study on Rutland by the Housing Assistance Council
from 2001: There has been a decline over the last couple of years in the number
of manufacturing jobs available. General Electric has a plant in Rutland City,
although it has reduced its workforce since 1995. Tam Brands was one of the
area’s largest employers, but closed its plant in 1997. The manufacturing jobs
provided by these and other companies are desirable for low-income, low-skill
workers, since they generally have pay rates above the minimum wage and
provide fringe benefits. With fewer manufacturing jobs, social service and housing
providers have noted increased competition for vacancies with manufacturing
firms in the area. The numbers of people who are unemployed is fairly low, while
the “not in labor force” numbers are higher, often pointing to a high retired
population, seasonal workers, or the disabled. The median income in the LSA
ranges from a per capita low of 16,583 in Tinmouth to a per capita high of 26,206
Rutland County as a whole has a median income of $34,624 and a 10.5% poverty
rate in 98-99. This compares to a range of almost 19% in poverty in Rutland City
to a low of only 5.6% in Mendon.
The population is aging generally and demographic trends seem to point to the
older population staying put while the younger population leaves the area,
exacerbating this trend. The aged in the LSA do have a large number of social
services and programmed events, but not a large degree of mobility. Library
concerns: Parking; transportation to and from library; building and materials
There is very little in the way of public transportation in the area. Parking solves
some transportation problems, but increased traffic via the two major highways
that serve the area and severe winter weather can make mobility within the LSA
difficult. The outlying towns in the LSA cannot make easy use of many of the
public programs or services the library offers, though it is unknown if this is
problematic for residents of those towns. Library concerns: Large geographical
area of LSA; seasonal changes in services; remoteness of some users.
As Rutland moves away from its transportation and manufacturing base, jobs are
getting somewhat scarcer and options for employment and livelihood are less.
While Rutland has seen a revival lately in terms of Downtown investment and
programming, much of this does not seem directed towards outlying areas.
Rutland still has a stigma of being a place where there is “nothing to do” [to quote
a recent teenager in to the library] and geographic and financial barriers keep
people from seeking employment or entertainment outside of their traditional
areas. Library concerns: Library providing services some patrons can not get
elsewhere such as computer/Internet access, phone, daytime shelter; positives
and negatives with library as destination; social service portal for patons.
Rutland Free Library Planning For Results 2000-2003, internal document. (LRP)
Rutland Chamber of Commerce website http://rutlandvermont.com/
Rutland Regional Planning Commission http://www.rutlandrpc.org/
Rutland City Master Plan (MP)
Case Studies on Rural Housing and Welfare Reform: Rutland Vermont (2001)
Center for Rural Studies: Vermont Community Databank
Downtown Rutland Partnership http://www.rutlanddowntown.com/