|Casper Journal Articles
From the Natrona County Public Library
Library Users Provide Feedback
By Brenda Thomson, Public Relations Coordinator
December 13, 2006
As a sound tech in college I learned an important lesson: feedback is a very bad thing...at least during live performance. On the other hand, feedback is the most important tool for improvement. It shows the tech their mistakes and where problems are likely to crop up. It tells us which parts of a system need to be checked, repaired or replaced, or simply turned down. Feedback is actually the sound tech’s best friend...during sound check, that is.
Your library conducts a survey every year in order to make sure we are receiving the feedback essential to serving our community well. The most recent survey was conducted at the library during the month of October, using touch-screen computers. There were 367 responding patrons, with the majority falling between 25 and 60 years of age. The majority were patrons who use the library weekly.
One question the library has asked on several surveys is whether people have Internet access in their homes. This is important because NCPL users can place holds, renew materials, or ask questions online. This year, 45% of library patrons reported that they have high speed internet access, 20% use dial-up access, and 35% do not have Internet access at home. Compared with statistics from the library’s previous survey, high-speed Internet use has gone up approximately 10% over two years, with a corresponding drop in dialup usage.
The shift from VHS to DVD films is rapidly occurring. It is therefore important for your librarians to anticipate how quickly to change these materials. October’s survey showed a substantial increase in the number of patrons who have DVD players (75%) rather than only VHS players (20%), reinforcing NCPL’s shift to DVDs. Audiobooks are also converting from cassette format to CDs, as 67% of respondents now have a CD player in their car.
With the need for many different types of materials comes the requirement for places to put them. This means some areas of the library are getting crowded. Many people (45%) expressed a need for additional parking. When asked which areas of the library should be expanded, 32% requested more space for computers with Internet access, and the same percentage favored an expanded Teen Zone. Taking this question a step further, 74% said they would be supportive of efforts to build a larger library to serve our community. Most others (22%) said they were not sure.
Feedback is indeed important for improving service to the library’s 29,974 cardholders and 1,000 daily visitors. Your librarians are already using this survey to develop ways to improve service. For example, you will see NCPL’s collection and the number of computers grow over the next few years. Additionally, we will begin the long process of looking at possibilities for a new and larger library to serve Natrona County for the next 100 years. We thank those who participated in the survey. Your feedback is essential as we continue to connect you with the information and materials you desire.
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