Iowa City Public Library Deemed “Essential” in Mail Survey

by on May 30th, 2014

Patrons consider the Iowa City Public Library “essential” and “very important,” according to a recent survey.

The Library conducted a mail survey through Himmel & Wilson, Library Consultants in March to gather input for its new strategic plan. The surveys were distributed to 2,000 random households in Iowa City and the Library contract areas – University Heights, Hills, Lone Tree, and rural Johnson County.

A total of 434 completed surveys were returned for a 23.61 percent response rate, resulting in a 95 percent confidence rate and a margin of error of plus or minus 4.68

Nearly 95 percent of mail survey respondents said that the Iowa City Public Library was either essential or very important to the quality of life in the community. This is the highest response Himmel & Wilson has ever received for a public library.

“The Iowa City Public Library is clearly a well-used and well-respected community resource,” Bill Wilson and Ethel Himmel stated in their report. “More than half (55 percent) of survey respondents gave ICPL a rating of 6 (excellent) when asked to rate their overall satisfaction with services. Another 31.5 percent indicated that they thought services were very good. “

Almost ninety percent of respondents stated that they visited the Library at least five times a year, with 30.8 percent marking three times a month or more. During these visits, 79 percent of respondents checked out library materials, nearly 32 percent asked Library staff for help with a question, 13.5 percent attended children playing in the Children’s Room, and 9.5 percent attended a meeting.

“Iowa City is a great library town. One of my favorite things that I learned from the survey is that the average number of books read by people in our community, 24, is twice the national average of 12 — we really are a City of Literature, “ Library Director Susan Craig says. “I appreciate all the participation we had. It really helps the committee working on updating the strategic plan when they have good input.”

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