11/25/12 — Public library wants people to take survey

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Public library wants people to take survey

By Steve Herring
Published in News on November 25, 2012 1:50 AM

Wayne County Public Library officials are asking for the public's help in developing a plan to ensure the library is providing the services that the public wants as well as looking at ways to attract more patrons.

"As part of our strategic plan we have developed a survey that we want to get out to the public and encourage as wide a participation as we can because that will guide any recommendations that the public has," said Donna Phillips, library director. "It is just really important that we get as much of the community's input as we can.

"We want library users and non-library users to tell what they think about the library, and what they would like to see us do. And if they don't use the library, why don't they, and is there something that we can do to encourage them to use the library?"

The survey, which is in English and Spanish, is available on the library website at www.wcpl.org. Mrs. Phillips said completing the survey online is preferred. However, paper versions are available at all of the library branches, she said.

The survey consists of 17 questions for patrons, but fewer for non-users.

"They (non-users) can skip down and tell us why they don't use the library, and what we can do to entice them to use the library," she said.

The survey was to have been closed out at the end of November, but because of the Thanksgiving holiday, Mrs. Phillips thinks it will instead run through the first week in December.

In July the library hired Bill Millett, president of Scope View Strategic Advantage, to conduct the planning. Millett, who did the library's 2007 strategic plan, is being paid through a $20,000 grant from the Library Services and Technology Act funds.

Awarded by the State Library of North Carolina, the grants are made possible by funding from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the State Library, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources.

A strategic plan is required by the State Library, Mrs. Phillips said. It is not a capital plan, but an operational one, she said.

The survey was not a grant requirement.

"But we felt it was a way that we could get the community's input," Mrs. Phillips said. "We have had our employees fill out an employee survey, but we felt it was critically important that we hear from the public that we serve."

There have been two meetings of community members serving on the strategic planning and two with the library's supervisory team.

"We should have a draft of a strategic plan ready by December with implementation scheduled for January," Mrs. Phillips said. "We just want to hear from our stakeholders and make sure that we are using the dollars that are invested in the library for the services that our public is asking us to deliver.

"It will really be a management tool for us to establish some goals and objectives that we can measure so that throughout the year we can measure our progress towards what the public has asked us to do. A part of that will be to report back to the community on how well we are doing."