Do you use the computers and internet at the library? We would love to hear from you!
From May 5th to May 24th the library will be running an online survey to understand how patrons use the library’s technology so we can provide resources and services that are valuable to the community. The Impact Survey is anonymous, available in English and Spanish, and takes 10-15 minutes to complete.
Please support the library and help us improve our services. Click the button below to fill out the survey or you can access it from one of the library’s public access computers. We appreciate your time and support.
Why should I participate?
The Impact Survey will help us better understand how our community benefits from free access to computers and the Internet at the library. This information will help the library improve its technology services and communicate the value of providing these services.
People from all walks of life use library computers to perform routine and life-changing tasks, from emailing friends to finding jobs. A 2009 study conducted by the University of Washington reported that use of library technology had significant impact in four critical areas: employment, education, health, and making community connections. The study revealed that
- 40 percent of library computer users (an estimated 30 million people) received help with employment needs. Among these users, 75 percent reported they searched for a job online. Half filled out an online application or submitted a resume.
- 37 percent focused on health issues. 82 percent of these users used the computers to learn about a disease, illness, or medical condition. One-third sought out doctors or health care providers and about half followed up by making appointments for care.
- 42 percent received help with educational needs. Among these users, 37 percent (an estimated 12 million students) used their local library computer to do homework.
- Library computers link patrons to their government, communities, and civic organizations. Sixty-percent of users – 43.3 million people – used a library’s computer resources to connect with others.
These are the national numbers. But in order for the library to meet our community’s technology needs and to demonstrate how providing these services make a difference, it’s important that we have this information at a local level.
How long does it take?
The survey will take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete. If you are using a library computer to complete the survey, we have added additional time to your computer reservation to compensate for time needed to participate.
What will I be asked?
Impact Survey will ask you how you use the library’s public access computers and Internet connection, and how this resource has helped you. The questions cover general use, as well as use in the following areas:
- Civic engagement
- Health and wellness
- Social inclusion
The survey also collects information about use of specific library resources, help and training at the library, overall satisfaction, and your perceptions of the importance of offering public access technology.
How will my data/privacy be protected?
Your submission is completely anonymous and confidential. No personally identifiable information will be collected in the survey.
The survey does not collect any personally identifiable information from patrons. When a patron clicks on the link from your website to take the survey, your library’s unique survey URL … is attached to the response. This code allows us to identify the responses that come from your library, but will not record any other information related to the patron, even if she/he is logged into their library account.
The Impact Survey is the result of a partnership between the University of Washington and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In 2009, the University of Washington Information School conducted Opportunity for All: How the American Public Benefits from Internet Access at U.S. Libraries, which was the first large-scale investigation of the ways U.S. library patrons use computers and the Internet at public libraries, why they use it, and how it impacts their lives. Because the patron survey was such a success, it is now available as a tool for use by all U.S. public libraries.
For more information about the Impact Survey, inquire at the library information desk or visit http://impactsurvey.org.