Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sarling and Tassel "Community Analysis: Research that Matters to North-Central Denver Community

Community Analysis: Research that matters to a north-central Denver community

What is community analysis?
Researching a community to get a better feel for what its members need and what would make their quality of life better
Define the "CARI" model. What are its four persepctives?
Community Analysis Research Institute

4 Perspectives
Characteristics of the individuals
The formal and informal groups they form
The agencies which serve and interact with them
Community lifestyles

Describe some of the many methodologies employed in the Denver research
First asked: "What do we want to know?"
Used maps of current libraries
Examined local newspapers, radios, community centers, and other social agencies

Who made up the three neighborhoods in the studies? How did walk - and drive - throughs illuminate information about the communities that could have been missed?
Three Neighborhoods
Walked and drove up and down every street and became familiar with every street so that when data was gathered it could be "placed" in the community.

What did researchers discover when they talked to representatives from the local school district?
Talked to local principle and school librarian
Problems with education in community
Denver still under court-ordered busing
Labyrinth of busing for children who didn't go to these community schools - not efficient
Neighborhood children not in same school for consistent amounts of time
Difficult for parents to be active in their child's schooling because of distance and convenience

List some recommendations made by the researchers upon completion of their study
Branch staff should get involved in the community by attending community meetings and social events, visiting the various community centers, and building positive relationships
Signage, both inside and outside the building, should be bilingual
Interior of the library should include several quiet spaces for children to do homework
Accessibility to computers with word processing and educational software

With whom did they share their study (attention: social capital)? Who requested a copy of their data?
To all interested parties
City Librarian
Library Commissioners
Director of Marketing
Director of Branches
Branch Manger
Each community leader interviewed during the investigation

Who is Pilar Castro-Reino? Why is she important?
The Outreach Librarian for the Valdez-Perry Branch of the Denver Public Library
She has become an integral part of the community which is something strongly recommended by this study

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