Thursday, February 1, 2007

How well do you know your online patrons?

My first session Thursday morning was How well do you know your on-line patrons? An important session when libraries are thinking about re-designing websites, acquiring databases and adding additional services. This session presented findings from an online patron survey (over 5000+ responses) conducted by OLA in 2006. What's useful is that this information moves beyond what web use, program attendance and library attendance stats provide in that it tells you what our patrons are thinking and valuing. The survey evaluated patrons of school, university and public libraries. Some survey questions and responses were...

What % of your Patrons spend more than 2 hours/ day on the Internet for personal use?
29% (S)
66% (U)
20% (P)

What % of your patrons spend more than 2 hours per day on the Internet for academic purposes? (only university library)
24% (U)

Which of the following options was most frequently cited by your patrons as their first priority for Library services? (choices were free borrowing, online databases, buildings, free reference access, free computers/internet, remote catalogue access)

Free Borrowing (s)
Online Databases (U)
Free Borrowing (P) 54% (what was neat here is the "next runner up" for public libraries was online databases at 25%)

What % of your patrons visit your library in person several times a week or more?
42% (S)
46% (U)
28% (p)

What % of your patrons say they visit your library's online catalogue, website or databases several times a week or more?
35% (s)
36% (U)
40% (P)

There were more survey results presented. I believe that they are going to be posted on the OLA conference site.

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