Huge response to library survey

Grand Forks and District Public Library received almost 250 survey responses.

Library Director Cari Lynn Posnikoff draws a name from all those who submitted a survey: L. Barb and Ann Wolfram took home gift certificates.

According to a survey by the library, people are generally pleased with the library although some were unaware of many services they offer. The recent survey initiated by the Grand Forks and District Public Library was a big success.

Library Director Cari Lynn Postnikoff went over the preliminary results of the survey for the board at the library board meeting on Nov. 25. “This response is crazy for the size of the community,” she said. “That’s a lot. I would’ve been really happy with 100. We managed to convince 16 people who don’t use the library ever to use the survey.”

Postnikoff said the demographics of the survey were: 167 Grand Forks residents, 61 Christina Lake residents, as well as five part-timers from each, and the rest were non-residents. Most of the respondents (60 per cent) were over 55; 38 were aged 40-54; 31 were 26-40; 10 were 19-39; and 11 were under 18.

“For those who don’t use the library, we had some consistent themes with number one being: everything is online,” said Postnikoff. “Other people buy all their books, the library doesn’t have anything they’re interested in. A lot of them are worried about overdues so maybe we should advertise that we don’t have fines and that you can renew your books.”

Survey participants said they were more likely to use the library if they had more free time; if they had a specific research need; and if the library had specific types of programming.

“The takeaways are that we need better advertising for programs than we actually have here,” said Postnikoff. “It is noteable that as far as the non-users go, all except one labelled the library as important or extremely important to the community. So they think it should be here, even if they don’t come here.”

Postnikoff added that people overall were very happy with the library’s customer service. She also said people wanted to see the library open on Mondays and opening at 9 a.m. instead of 10 a.m. “So if we can find the money and make the case to the RDKB that we need to be open on these days and times, that would be good,” she said. “All in all, we need better advertising for things other than our books. People know we have books they don’t know about pretty much anything else.”

The results of the survey will be used by the board and staff for strategic planning.

The library also held a draw at the board meeting for those participating in the library survey: L. Barg won a $25 gift certificate from Jogas, while Ann Wolfram who a $25 gift certificate from Thistle Pot Gifts.

Other issues the library were focussing on at the time included the recently completed lighting project. Postnikoff told the board that the installation went smooth and came in under the estimate of $20,000. Postnikoff said the new lighting has made a world of difference in the library. “It felt like we had half the lights off before,” she said. The new lights are also expected to save the library over $2,000 in power expenses.

Postnikoff reported that the library’s adult colouring program has been a rousing success with over 40 participants. In fact, the program was so successful the library is now putting on an adult colouring group. She also reported that the library was outreaching to Silver Kettle Village and would have a staff member read on site once a month.

The library board and staff are currently undertaking strategic planning for the library for the next five years. The report is expected to be presented at the library’s annual general meeting in March. The current strategic plan expires next year and the next plan will need to be adopted for 2016-2021

Postnikoff reported that the roof on the library had a leak last month. The leak was reported to the city, who owns the building, and was fixed shortly after. There was no damage to any books or other library equipment.

The library board and staff are currently making plans for the 70th anniversary of the Grand Forks and District Public Library next year, and Postnikoff said she would like to see the board and staff plan a big event.

“We’re in the brainstorming stage right now,” she said. “We’d like to have a big ‘do in the springtime and hopefully we’ll come up with something really good.”