Citizen Satisfaction with Materials at Libraries
Citizen satisfaction with materials at libraries is a key indicator that measures favorable responses received by citizens from the annual City of Austin Community Survey. The survey is prepared and conducted by an external third-party vendor to the City of Austin. A statistically-valid sample of randomly selected addresses are used as a representative sample of the general population of the city. The representative sample includes roughly 200 respondents from each council district.
This measure is the sum of “very satisfied” and “satisfied” responses divided by the total number of respondents who reported an opinion to this question. The data reported excludes survey respondents who left the question blank or reported “don’t know.”
FY 2015-16 Results
In FY 2015-16, 68% of citizens were satisfied with the materials libraries, 12% below the established goal at 80%.
Assessment of Results
The FY 2015-16 satisfaction level of 68% is the lowest the Austin Public Library (APL) has received within the last five fiscal years. Results from a separate Library 2015-16 online customer satisfaction survey appear to corroborate this decrease. Customers who responded to the survey indicated they are most satisfied with selection of materials at our libraries, but are least satisfied with their limited availability. One customer commented, “I still find it hard to accept that it can take two months to obtain an on-hold book request – one book with 23 holds”. The Library continues to build its materials collection in anticipation of the New Central Library expected to open in late 2017, and to address the overwhelming demand for, and availability of, materials in all formats. However, FY 2015-16 was the final year that the Library received this funding.
The Austin Public Library continues to build the collection and availability of digital media (e.g. spoken books, electronic books, audio books, music) to meet ever-increasing demand. The Austin Public Library’s continuing use of its expanded Floating Collection model enables Austin’s communities to shape their local Library’s collection by keeping materials returned at that location while simultaneously benefiting overall circulation growth. The Library will also continue building and promoting Spanish and world language materials to meet evolving demographics of all ages.
In preparation for the New Central Library, the Department received $4 million over the course of four years to grow the collection Citywide. However, as previously noted, FY 2015-16 was the final year that the Library received this funding. With this decrease in funding, the Austin Public Library will continue to analyze this key indicator in FY 2017-18 to understand the impact that this decrease will have on public perception and make insightful decisions aimed at meeting the ever evolving demands and needs of citizens and communities in future years.
For more information contact Victoria Rieger, Library Financial Manager, at (512) 974-7446.