Patrons and Community Needs

The information needs in our communities

The people who live and work in our communities have an enormous variety of information needs.

  1. Product evaluations. Before making a major purchase, it helps to know the quality and features of products.

  2. Health. People need information on how to stay healthy and how to understand medical conditions they or their families have.

  3. Government. People need to understand their own communities and the country so they can fully participate in making decisions.

  4. How to do it. It takes knowledge to repair cars, build swings, and bake cakes.

  5. Personal enrichment. People want to know words to poems or songs, read a good book, enjoy the paintings of a favorite artist.

  6. Work. Business people need statistics, addresses, legal information; children (school work is their work) need help with assignments, individuals need advice on changing careers and obtaining better jobs.

  7. School. Schoolwork requires information resources available in the library.

These are just a few of the areas where people need information. In some cases, they can find the information they need from friends, schools, or other resources.

The one place in the community that can provide all types of information to everyone is the library. The library is the information center for its community. Providing information to everyone who lives or works there is the library’s mission.

This course is designed to give you the two basic tools you need to help people meet their information needs.

Encouraging people to use the library for their information needs and helping them to clearly express those needs takes dedicated library workers who work to improve their skills. The first part of the MORE course will give you some tips on how to work with the public, overcome the barriers keeping people from the library, make them feel welcome, and find out what they really want to know.

Go to Roles for Libraries.

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Back to MORE Manual Home Page.

This page was updated on October 1, 2003.