Get Your Spatial Data On!

There are a lot of moving parts to coordinate in libraries today.  Everything is changing very fast including everything related to the Internet, what we mean by “phones”, user expectations of customer service and discovery, DRM, funding levels, the increasingly long list of devices  and technology that people use to create things, and the composition of our communities. 

One of the things changing almost as fast as technology is our communities.  Many communities are not just melting pots, they are roiling stews of people moving in and moving out with some communities getting older while others seem to maintain a permanently younger set.  As people flee their countries of origin due to climate change, violence, or just to pursue opportunities, what were once static  communities change and morph to accommodate the new arrivals with new cultures, practices, foods, and religions.  

The good news is that there is data out there to help a library understand these migration patterns and to help the library understand more about the people living in the various neighborhoods within their service area. Using data in the library system combined with census data, and other spatial data, a library can learn who is and who is not using the library. They can identify areas of growth and plan for a new library and they can learn who lives in that growing area to ensure the collection and services reflect their needs.