Say what? (What are people saying?)

Learning what people think about their library experience helps us identify new ideas to improve and expand. It identifies where the library fills the needs of people, but also identified gaps and shortcoming. Ultimately, it helps us learn more about you, the people we serve.

We recently began a random-sample survey where people rate their library experience and explain why they rated it the way they did. I love projects like this because 1) I’m a data nerd and 2) every successful organization is rooted an understanding of the customer. So far, library patrons have provided hundreds of responses and I skimmed the longer answers because they tend to have a story or slice of life behind them. If you've shared feedback, thank you! Here are some examples:

"I've been a regular for years. I think we've got an excellent library system. I like the ability to request a book from another library in the system through my computer and have it delivered to my nearest KDL library. I really appreciate that you guys have eliminated overdue fees, since I've paid a lot of them over the years. I lost my job a while back and don't have a working printer, so a recent use I've been coming to the library for is to print materials related to my job search. It's been a big help and I really appreciate it. This latest visit I happened to strike up a conversation with the security guard, Roy, and had a very nice chat with him. I've always found the staff there friendly and helpful."

"I now use the Ada location. At first I was not in favor of this being built because I thought the location not necessary as there is a library in Cascade and in EGR. However, I have been converted. The new facility is beautiful. The kid section is great, I hope it has reading hours / story time once COVID passes. The adult section is good, and if a text is not available it can be ordered - this I have done often. I think it is also wise that you have books in Spanish, especially YA books because Ada Vista is just around the corner."

"I bring my mother to the library once a week to pick out books. She has moderate memory issues, but can remember and enjoy reading still. It makes her so happy."

"I love this library! I use it often! I have also brought my grandson, and he's enjoyed the books he got. Everyone is helpful, and friendly, especially since the addition, getting to find what we want in the new. I will continue to use this library, because I love to read!!?"

"The children's services at the kdl are unmatched. This pandemic has revealed many shortcomings in our world, but the staff and programming, specifically at the Byron Township branch, have been outstanding. We have appreciated the encouraged use of masks, the slow restart of storytimes, and the continued offering of curbside. Throughout these months on end, my children have looked forward to visiting our library and seeing the superstar children's librarians there."

"KDL has been a part of my life since I was a child, and now I'm bringing my own daughter to the library. I actually get a little emotional every time we go because I have so many happy memories. I love bringing my daughter to the EGR location because she could spend hours down in the kids section."

This post shares a few of the comments that tell backstories because they say so much more than the math of survey and usage data. I will publish a post soon to provide more detail on the roughly 50,000 user-checkouts that circulate more than 400,000 physical items and around 140,000 digital items per month (which is among the highest in the state). The upcoming post will include calculations of dollar value delivered by the library.