With this past budget season, we were given more funding, so with the more funding we wanted to show the patrons thank you. Open up more hours, offer museum passes, and see what we could improve on. Well, instead of saying: “We’re going to be open on Saturday 9 – 2 and will be getting museum passes from Higgins Armory” a board member wrote up a questionnaire for all of the patrons, that asked what they wanted. We gave them two options for more hours. Longer hours on Thursday or being open on Saturdays. We also listed a couple local museums in the area that we could get museum passes to. We then finished off the questionnaire with an open response. Asking what the patrons would like to see in the library, or what we could improve on. That question was optional, of course.
The questionnaire was posted on our Facebook, in the library, and did send a letter to the editor about it. We put the questionnaire out and asked that all responses were back a couple of weeks before July 1st, which is when the changes will be effective, because that’s when FY 2012 will begin.
If you have a questionnaire, I highly recommending asking every patron that comes in, because most won’t pick it up, and also don’t make it really long, because if you have a high teenage and parent population, they won’t have a lot of time to fill out a 20 minute survey, so make it short and easy for them.
The one thing that I stress to patrons when they ask me why we’re doing this. I tell them that this is their library, and we librarians are just here to help them along their way. We want them to feel at home at the library. We want to hear what works best for them, instead what works for us.
Working with the public can be very difficult some days, but it can also be very rewarding at the same time. Always make sure you have some type of, relationship with each and every patron to make them feel welcomed.
Small Town Librarian