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We Want YOU!

by on March 24th, 2014

The Library has worked under a strategic plan for more than thirty years, adopting a new one every four or five years. It is often noted by new Library Board members, with varying degrees of astonishment, that we actually follow our plan! The first step of a new planning process, which we have just begun, is an environmental scan.

We can learn a lot about our environment by looking at facts and figures about our community and how it has changed since our last planning process. Is our community increasing or decreasing in population? If growing, where are the growth areas? What changes in other demographics are measurable– income, race, education level?

The most important part of our environment is what residents in our service area think about our current services, how they use the library, and what needs we aren’t meeting.

That is where you can help us.

Two thousand households in our service area (Iowa City, rural Johnson County, University Heights, Hills and Lone Tree) received printed surveys. If you received one, please complete and return it by April 1.

A large sample of people who have used their library cards recently and for whom we have email address will get an email this week asking them to complete an online survey. This survey is available to anyone and can be found at: http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/1568479/Iowa-City-IA-Web-Survey

Personally, I find it more than a little annoying, to be asked to evaluate everything I buy or experiences I have. I choose to do it for a selected few organizations and companies that I expect to have an ongoing relationship with and who I believe will do something constructive with my feedback.  I hope you feel that way about the Library and will take the time to complete a survey. We won’t ask often and we will consider all of your responses. Thank you.

4 Responses to “We Want YOU!”

  1. Ann says:

    This survey asks “Which of the following did you do during your last visit to the library?”
    The many options don’t include the top reason that many of us visit the library, and the main activity I engaged in at my last visit:

    Browse shelves and looked at books

    The lack of certain options on this survey (as with previous surveys ICPL has sent out) suggests that the library administrators already know what direction they intend to go, and and are just trying to generate numbers to support that direction.

  2. Anne Mangano says:

    Thank you for the comment and I want to ensure that ICPL staff understand a majority of our patrons come to the library for the books. According to the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project, 80% of Americans say that collections are the most important service a library provides. A few weeks ago, ICPL staff completed an observation study to see how people were using the building and a large number of you were browsing the shelves and reading books. Books are our bread and butter.

    In the survey, we ask if you “used the Library’s materials or resources in the library,” which includes browsing books, shifting through cookbooks for recipes, or reading the backs of DVDs. For those that haven’t filled out the survey, but also browsed the shelves and looked at books, you used the library’s materials or resources. We chose these specific responses because we asked these questions in past surveys and it aides us in tracking changes in use of the library over time.

  3. Liz says:

    I received the email with the survey link and have not been able to access the survey through the email or via the link provided above. This may be a temporary problem with the website and I will try again later but just thought you should be aware in case this was a bigger issue you needed to address.

    • Kara Logsden says:

      Thank you, Liz. There is such overwhelming interest in the online survey that we crashed the survey site. Please try again later and rest-assured we are following up to resolve the issue. We see this as a reflection of a very engaged community who wants their voice heard about the future of the Library. Thank you!

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