Wednesday, March 11, 2009

New computers and online poll in the Nevada Appeal

Dave Frank wrote a great article about the new computers at the library. The library has added computers in quantity by over 50% and in quality to what we had before they can't even be compared- better speed, increased time limits- Office applications, brand new, etc, etc.... Good technology is critical to public libraries and as we discuss expanding the library investing in technology is essential to a 21st Century Library.

On another note the Nevada Appeal ran an online poll that at first glance seems a bit disheartening- when they asked How often do you go to the library? the results for the 181 people who voted are:
Rarely 34.25% (62)
Never 34.25% (62)
Monthly 13.26%(24)
Once a week 12.15%(22)
Three or more times a week 6.08%(11)

So when you do the math 65.74% of those who participated in the one-day poll use the library. This is a consistent statistic to the percentage of community members who hold ( and use) library cards. Also there is quite a bit of distance between the choices of rarely and monthly. When you consider the cost of the public library on a per-capita basis is about $27.00 per person- close to what one best seller would cost someone, the Return on Investment (ROI) seems pretty good, and even when you do it by the use statistic (65%) represented in this snapshot poll its only $41.00 per one best seller and one DVD...believe me our users take out much more than that...users average nearly twelve items per person, per year.

The one comment to the poll was:
Time to stop being a traditional library, and evolve into a multi-layered "knowledge center." Your grandfather's library cannot survive in such a fast-changing world

Hopefully to those that said they never check us out, they might look again because even though our building is caught in the early 70's our public access computing technology is now 21st century.

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