Every year Yarra Plenty, along with other regional libraries in Victoria, commissions a telephone survey of users and non users by Nexus Research. The survey now has been going for a number of years and provides good longitudinal data for our planning and evaluation of library services.
1,800 people were interviewed this year, 300 from Yarra Plenty region. 46% have visited a library over the past year, which is a decline from previous years. 30 - 44 year old females are the highest users of public libraries and males in this age group are also the biggest male adult users. The most common reasons given by people who don't use the library is that they are too busy, that they don't read much and they have no need.
The average importance rating of public libraries on a scale from 1 - 10 was a score of 9.3. This increases to 9.6 amongst those who have visited a public library within the last 12 months and still averages 8.7 amongst those who have never used a public library.
Staff courtesy and helpfulness are rated as the most important aspect of the library, followed by staff knowledge, ease of locating a book or information and range and quality of books.
It is very pleasing that our latest figures on user satisfaction reflect an improvement over the last years with a score of 8.7. Staff courtesy and helpfulness and presentation of the library building rate highest for us. There has been an encouraging increase in satisfaction with the internet, website and computer availability. Events and activities have also shown a good increase in satisfaction levels.
Overall the main area that needs to be improved is the range and quality of AV materials.
If you would like to give your impressions of the library service, please feel free to comment on this blog.