Lester Public Library is developing a new strategic plan this year. We want to anticipate what the needs of the library, our patrons and our community will be in the next three to five years. To assist with this process, the Lester Public Library partnered with Leede Research to create a custom-designed survey.
We gathered 423 completed surveys April through June. Surveys on paper and tablet were offered at the library. The survey was publicized on social media and the library’s website. Keep in mind that because of where these surveys were distributed, most of the survey respondents were library users.
Here are some of the initial survey results:
- 95 percent of respondents have a library card in their households.
- Respondents have strong face-to-face and online contact with the library at a rate of two to three times per month.
- Materials, youth programs, facility and staff are considered top strengths.
- Expanded hours and more parking are the top suggestions for improvement.
- Checking out materials is the No. 1 reason respondents visit the library.
- 96 percent of respondents gave LPL the highest rating for “value to the community.”
- No major red-flag issues arose that pose barriers to library engagement or the use of resources.
The library scored very high on the Net Promoter Score. That score is a cross-industry measure of customer loyalty. Scores of 30 percent or more are considered “solid.” A score of 80 percent or more is considered “world class.” The Lester Public Library’s score was 82 percent, suggesting customer loyalty that brands like Harley-Davidson and Apple enjoy. Leede Research CEO Dean Halverson equates our high score to “rock star” status!
The surveys also collected respondents’ demographic data: age, gender, income, households with children and education. The data will be used to help the library determine how to more effectively market certain programs and services. Leede analyzes key information within the overall results to determine patterns that might be meaningful — especially as we try to predict what users will want and need in the future. This is a very powerful tool for the library as we work on our strategic plan.
OK, the survey results were really great, but now what? In the second phase of this process, we want to reach out to those in the community who don’t use the library. Why not, and what can we offer or do to increase library usage by this population? This month, once again with expert assistance from Leede Research, we are targeting households without library card holders. We will mail surveys to around 1,800 households without library cards. If you receive one of these surveys, please complete it and return it. We want to know what programs, services and materials you want and/or need!
Our thanks to our library community and everyone who took the time to fill out a survey; you are helping us plan. We want to be a useful and valued part of the community and your input helps us do that. Despite the good scores, in many ways our work has just begun. We will strive every day to maintain — and exceed — the high standards our patrons have for our collections, staff and services.
Passing of Sheridan O’Rourk
With the passing of Sheridan O’Rourk July 8, the library lost a good friend. Sheridan served on the library board 2002-2008. Sheridan served as library board president for 2006-2007. He was the president when I was hired in 2007. I have many fond memories of Sheridan, and he will be missed.
Jeff Dawson is director of Lester Public Library in Two Rivers.