Citizen Satisfaction with Quality of City Libraries
Citizen satisfaction with the quality of City 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, the Austin Public Library received a 71% favorable response rate with the quality of City libraries, a 4% decrease from the established goal.
Assessment of Results
The FY 2015-16 satisfaction level of 71% is the lowest result in the past five years and just below the five-year average of 72% for this key performance indicator. This is the 4th consecutive year that the Department has set 75% satisfaction level as its goal. The national average for satisfaction with libraries dropped to 69%, so although the Austin Public Library now surpasses the national average in this measure, the library has not been able to reach the internal goal. One of the biggest factors that contributes to customer satisfaction is our materials budget. Surveys show that 81% of customers use the library to check out materials. With Austin’s growing population, it is increasingly challenging to meet the demand for both physical and digital materials.
The Library’s 2015-16 online customer satisfaction survey also appears to corroborate this decrease. The survey collects responses on a 1 to 10 scale. Customers who responded to the survey stated that the quality of Austin’s library services is 7.9, which is lower than the ratings of received in the previous three fiscal years (8.6 in FY 2014-15, 8.74 in FY 2013-14, and 8.57 in FY 2012-13).
As population increases and more citizens of Austin begin to use Library facilities, there is an increasing expectation for high quality facilities and available resources. As a result, the Austin Public Library continues to develop the Library’s collection and further incorporate technological changes and innovations. Additionally, the Austin Public Library is planning renovations and improvements to branch facilities and will continue to evaluate areas for improvement to library services. The Austin Public Library will continue to analyze this key indicator in FY 2017-18 in order to draw meaningful comparisons and make insightful decisions in future years.
For more information contact Victoria Rieger, Library Financial Manager, at (512) 974-7446.