And the library survey says . . .

Last fall, the local library board commissioned Premiere Incentives to conduct a survey to assess community attitudes and receptiveness towards a new library building and a fundraising campaign.
The data then was analyzed by Ontario Library Service-North.
A total of 116 community leaders were selected by the library building committee to receive a survey questionnaire, which 86 agreed to complete.
When asked for their response to the proposal to build a new library, 68 percent of respondents agreed with it while 23 percent indicated they were not sure.
Six percent said they disagreed with the proposal.
When asked if they thought the community would support a $1-million fundraising campaign to build a new library, 82 percent of respondents said the community would be either “very positive” or “somewhat positive” towards such a campaign.
In addition, 75 percent of the respondents said they, as individuals, business owners, or members of service clubs, would respond positively to such a campaign.
Those who did not support it noted they might if:
•the money were to go towards expanding the current library building, as opposed to building a new one;
•if there was a tax deductible receipt involved; or
•if there was a greater focus on First Nations in library services/materials.
Sixty-three percent of respondents said they would contribute to a library fundraising campaign. Two percent said they’d contribute $10,000-$24,999 over a five-year period while one percent said $5,000-$9,999.
Seven percent would pledge $2,500-$4,999.
Twenty-two percent would donate between $1,000 and $2,4999 while 31 percent would pledge less than $1,000.
The remaining 36 percent said they either wouldn’t donate, weren’t sure if they would donate, or simply didn’t respond.
When asked what economic or political issues might affect the library campaign, respondents noted the likelihood of higher taxes for local residents and the ability of the town to assume the debt load of a debenture were possible hurdles.
When asked if they would be part of the library campaign, 59 percent of the respondents said they would not be willing while 24 percent said they would.
Sixteen percent did not respond.
When asked their relationship to the library, 90 percent of respondents said they were users. Of those, 25 percent said they’ve donated to the library and 19 percent were members of “Friends of the Library.”
Ninety-seven percent of respondents rated the local library’s reputation as “excellent” or “good.”
Eighty-eight percent said the library was “innovative or progressive” while 89 percent agreed with the statement “the library responds to changing community needs.”
Ninety-one percent said the library was “well-managed” while 92 percent agreed the library offers “high-quality and friendly service.”
When asked about the library’s strengths, those surveyed noted:
•the staff was “excellent,” “friendly,” “knowledgeable,” and “helpful”;
•the collection had “very good,” “vast,” and had lots of variety (this included the audio books and periodicals);
•the children’s department was “excellent,” with “strong” and “diverse” children’s programming;
•the services the library provides are varied, with shut-in deliveries, “good hours,” and “good use of the Internet” and inter-library loans;
•the community support and involvement was very strong, including partnerships with the Rainy River District School Board and individuals schools;
•the environment and atmosphere was “welcoming,” “comfortable,” and “very child-friendly”;
•the facility is in a “good central location” and a “historical building”; and
•the management/organization was “very progressive” and sported “good leadership.”
When asked about the library’s weaknesses, those surveyed noted:
•the facility was “crowded and cramped,” the computer area “too jammed,” and the children’s department shouldn’t be in the basement;
•all areas of the building should be handicap accessible;
•the library needs more parking spaces;
•the library should get more input on its CD/DVD collection;
•some books are hard to find and more signs are needed designating subject matter;
•the lack of a community room;
•photocopying is too expensive;
•not enough books, or programming, aimed at teens;
•not being open on weekends in the summer; and
•very little First Nations newspapers, materials, books, etc.
Those surveyed also were asked to make suggestions as to how to run an effective public relations program, possible major contributors, ideas for a campaign message, and how to recognize donors (plaques, donor wall, etc.)

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