Thursday, April 26, 2007

And the survey says...

...this is what I learned about you.

A month ago I added a brief 7 question survey to the top of the side bar. I wasn't expecting a lot of responses -- perhaps a friend or two popping in to taunt me about wanting affirmation of my blogging existence. But lo and behold in that one month I've received 40 responses! That's almost 1 person and a toe a day! (by the way it's still up if you want to respond) ;-)

I've gotten some wonderful insight into what some of you are wanting from LibraryStories. And so I hope by sharing a few highlights I can encourage my colleagues in Oklahoma to join me in giving you what you want (by contributing more library stories).

All but 3 of the survey respondents were librarians (for you who are math impaired, like me, that means 37 librarians participated of their own free will). And the type of librarians ran the gamut. Public and Academic librarians are the primary readers -- with Special and School libraries bringing up the rear. Perhaps a reason why there weren't more school librarians is because blogspot is blocked by some of the school filters? I guess one way to test this would be to consider moving LibraryStories to a new domain -- but my question is would the readers make the transition?

The vast majority of you are residing in Oklahoma or at least once did. Where 19 of the responders discovered LibraryStories through the Oklahoma Library Association more of you (combined) discovered it via some other method (via friend, internet search, etc). I have to say that was a pleasant surprise because that means there's a library audience outside of OLA interested in the topics covered. Of course then it also raises the question -- Are those individuals not active in OLA and if not why not?

And related to the last finding -- many of you read LibraryStories via the OLA updates I send out or bookmarks on your browser. Which is to be expected - email and bookmarks are still a staple among majority of internet users. I was very happy to see that many of you use RSS readers like Bloglines or Google Reader to subscribe and I'm curious to know what other blogs you read in the field?

But here's the really good stuff -- What kind of stories interest you? Topics included:

  • Children's librarianship
  • Biographies of librarians in Oklahoma (beyond the 100)
  • Technology - anything and everything
  • Some sort of Behind the Books (that's my cheesy title) feature where we highlight those things which occur behind the library scenes
  • More Oklahoma Library news
  • More Job Postings
  • Young adult librarianship
  • Programming ideas
  • Freedom of Information stories
  • What Oklahoma librarians read for pleasure

  • The last question I asked concerned your local library's website -- I wanted to see what you expect of your library's web presence. I did this to trick you into giving me ideas for my library's redesign (mwahahaha!) but also I want to see where Oklahoma library web pages will be moving in the future. Based on your responses our patrons should be very happy -- because you have high standards. This is what you all think of your local library's site:

  • Rankings: It's Good - Average - So-so - Fair - Poor - Stinks - No comment
  • Those in charge need look at today's technologies
  • Statistics show it's getting lots of use
  • Needs more interactiveness
  • More 2.0 (many of you wanted to see your sites utilizing RSS, youtube, blogs, social networking sites, flickr, podcasting)
  • Big redesign coming soon so excitement in the air
  • More innovation
  • Need the catalog online

  • Perhaps you didn't respond - but maybe these comments reflect your thoughts about what you are wanting to hear or see in your library? There's a couple of things to remember 1) If we are thinking these things of our library websites then there is a good chance our users are thinking the same thing 2) Based on the responses none of us are alone.

    We have colleagues across the state (truth be told across the world) who are in the same boat as us. We all know about discussion groups and listservs, but have you checked out the many other networking tools now available to us? There the Ning groups (2.0, Okie, Blogs, ALA, etc), the Facebook groups, twitter, heck there's even the (dreaded) Second Life with which you can get involved -- and those are just the beginning. And even if those forms of communication aren't what you are comfortable with there's an entire state of professionals available to assist you -- or at least listen -- all you have to do is call or email.

    Thank you everyone who responded to the survey -- and also thank you for the kinds words. And to that one person -- you know who you are -- you aren't alone.

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