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Community Assessment

Using the Harwood Institute method of Community Conversations, we performed a community assessment of Caro, Michigan in 2017.

What kind of community do you want to live in? When is the last time you were asked that? Over the past five months, Caro Area District Library has asked this of many local residents. We want to know their aspirations, what they see as challenges to those goals, how we as a community could take action to achieve these goals, and who they trust to accomplish these things.

Why is the library asking these questions? By gathering public knowledge of the Caro community’s aspirations, we can then design programs and services that aid the community in reaching those goals.  The library’s mission is to ‘Cultivate Curiosity.’ We want to cultivate a better community at the same time. Also, sharing is one of the fundamental principles of libraries. We will be sharing the public knowledge we have gathered through this process with as many other organizations in the greater community as we can. Then, they can all make decisions with the citizens’ interests in mind. That is also why we are sharing this report with you. When we turn outward with our decision making, the whole community benefits.

We were lucky enough to receive a grant from the Library of Michigan and the Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, utilizing funds from the Institute for Museum and Library Services. The “Library Transforming Communities” program is nationally recognized by the American Library Association as a force for positive change within communities. 

Download the Community Assessment here.

Logo Word Cloud

The Library of Michigan was so pleased with our progress that we are featured as a case study: 

We are also featured in a video: