Our biannual community survey ‘Tell Us What you Really Think” opened to the community on Monday 1 April and closed on Sunday 14 April 2019. The survey was an opportunity for our community to have their say about public libraries in the region.
We promoted the survey through the CCL eNewsletter, website and social media. Of the 982 responses, 940 came via the weblink posted in the newsletter and email reminder. This approach was a little different to how we have conducted the survey in the past when we used a random sample of email addresses from our member database. The response was exceptional. The average completion time was 5.31 minutes.
The majority of respondents were females (79%). Just over a fifth of respondents were aged between 35-44 (22.6%), followed by 45-54 (20.65%) and 65-74 (19.8%). All age groups were covered including 75 years or older (7%), there were only 4 responses received from people under the age of 18.
The largest female group represented were between 34-44 years (23.9%). The largest male respondent ages with over a quarter (26.4%) was 65-74 years. Almost one third (31.03%) of respondents cited their main library as Bunjil Place (Narre Warren).
Most people get to their local library using a car 87.6%. Not many people use public transport to reach our libraries, some comments indicated that using public transport to access our branches can be difficult for some branches.
Our Net Promoter Score (NPS) came in at 68, a fantastic result for CCL and an improvement on previous survey results. Individual NPS scores for branches were as follows: Bunjil Place = 65 Cardinia Mobile = 75, Cranbourne = 60, Doveton = 79, Emerald = 83, Endeavour Hills = 70, Hampton Park = 77, Pakenham = 66.
The survey indicated that there is a significant opportunity to engage our community as volunteers. 28% of respondents expressed interest being volunteer in our libraries. This result suggests a high level of positive engagement by respondents with CCL.
We asked qualitative questions about how people felt when they entered our libraries, asked them to comment on our opening hours and also tell us about their capacity to access technology in the library and at home. These results in this summary have been aggregated across the CCL network. We will also work with individual branches to reflect on responses that apply specifically to them.
In broad terms, the community feel safe, happy and welcome when they enter our libraries. People find our libraries calming and comfortable, a place to be inspired. Community like that they can grab a book from the shelf and find a quiet place or nook in the library.
Each branch has a different feel; library users commented either on their main branches or the different branches they visit. Many still see the libraries as a place to find a book. There is a sense of excitement, anticipation and adventure to when they enter our libraries – ‘What am I going to find today?’
Like in previous surveys the different use of space is noted; people love the quiet library for reading and studying and others love the programs, games and ability for group discussions. We have an ongoing challenge around the tension between the use of space in our libraries.
Community attending our programs and events appreciate the diverse range of activities we offer. The most popular include: Children’s programs and the STEAM sessions, and adult programs that focus on health and wellbeing, mind and body, cooking and gardening.
One person expressed their disappointment that programs that they were keen on booked out too quickly.
We offer many pre-school programs on weekdays during term, parents would like to see these programs available during school holidays and on the weekends for those parents who work. There is an opportunity to fulfil a gap for programs targeted to those aged 8 and over, including teenagers.
The events we offer to our community are free mostly, making them accessible to everyone in the community. A female Cranbourne Library user, 65-74 years, noted that it is great that those who are disadvantaged in our community can access and benefit from what we offer.
There is community desire for us to offer more digital classes focussed on cyber security and social media safety, life skills workshops young people, author events (fiction and non-fiction), inspirational speakers, decluttering, sustainability, cultural and family events as well as arts from dance to music to visual arts. The community likes events that bring locals together, an opportunity to learn, gather and socialise.
Almost 90 percent of the respondents said that our current opening hours meeting their needs. Many noted their appreciation for CCL opening all branches at 9am on weekdays.
Our community are keen for longer weekend hours, particularly Sundays and at more branches and opening later on weekdays – Friday. A few comments noted the change in closing on weekends at Bunjil Place at 4pm.
Several respondents asked for changes or improvements that CCL have already established recently including 24/7 access to the after hours chutes.
The community response to the question about how can we make it easier for them to access and use technology in the library and at home was extensive.
Observations included feedback on access to the internet, collection arrangements and study spaces. There was even a suggestion that we establish a drone delivered home pick up service for returns.
Our eAudio and eBooks are popular, the community love them. They do find it frustrating when the items are booked out, and when they reserve it they can take a while before they can listen or read it. More titles or an online version of top titles was suggested. The community are delighted that they can use technology to place an item on hold, be informed when their hold is ready to be picked up and then again when the item is due.
Community love that staff can assist them in the branch with technology if they are having difficulties. People want the library to continue to have staff up–to–speed with today’s technology who are on hand ready to help. Other suggestions included online help for people at home including phone help line and short, simple step by step guide/videos. An extension to this is regular videos or events that demonstrate how libraries can be used to their full potential physically, digitally with technology in the library and at home.
Signage in the branches is important, collection and catalogues computers. Community like and want more computers able to search the catalogues.
Community members mentioned things we already do, have and offer. Ongoing marketing and education that help the community access a broader range of our services is vitally important.
Respondents see CCL as a community place, they are broadly very happy with the spaces and services we provide. Lending items remains a core part of business for CCL, but the provision of a place where people can safely gather, learn and grow is at the heart of what we do.