Notes from July 31st Public Focus Group-Morrison Regional Library

Staff Focus Group Discussions for PLCMC’s Strategic Plan – July 2008

Public Session # 7

Morrison Regional

July 31, 2008

1. What positive things or experiences have occurred in the library?

– The staff at ImaginOn is fabulous, you are able to go in, get your parking stamped, and see an event and leave. ImaginOn is a great place in Charlotte, the staff are exceptional.

– On one visit, did not realize that patron can now pick up holds on their own. Staff kindly went over and picked up hold and did not complain about it at all.

– Book that was placed on hold went from being in transit to cancelled; the “contact us” feature was used on the library website to explain what had happened. Within 24 hours a response was received and the book was place back on hold. The turnaround on the situation was very good.

2. What challenges have occurred in Charlotte and how can the library help?

– The library should help second language speakers; this can be a focal point that is new to the community.

– There is currently an information explosion; patrons should be able to ask a librarian about good reference resources.

– The library should help in disseminating between good and bad website resources; they (library) can help with specific topics, i.e. jobs, research and professional websites.

3. What has been your experience with the online catalog and technology?

– The catalog is used for the most part to search for materials and to login to library account. The information that is provided is invaluable; the information never changes, so the page is bookmarked on PC.
– It was never realized how many actual pages were on our website, it was not known the library provided so much information on so many topics.

– There is knowledge of the websites the library provides, but they aren’t utilized since currently not in school.

– The library could set up a website that reflects credible research sites, the library could become the place to look instead of other internet sites.

4. What do you borrow in relation to what the library has in its collection?

– Books, books on CD are primarily checked out.

5. How available are the books that you want to check out?

-Many of the books, especially new releases, have not been a problem. There is an annoyance with checking out older books. Library will have a book series and will have all in the series except one of the books. Will ILL for the missing volume.

-ILL is successful, there has only been one occurrence when something hasn’t come through.

– On one occurrence a reference librarian showed patron how to use “Suggestion for Purchase” form; it wasn’t obvious on the website where to find that form. There was no feedback, was informed that they will be informed as to when the purchase would be done. The book was in the catalog, and patron was placed on holds list.

– Patron is an opportunistic reader, if what they want to read is on hold; there are plenty of other things to read.

– If people really want a book, they will buy it. If you put it on hold, you have to wait, so there is a trade off between spending the money or waiting for the book to come in if on hold. If the book budget was increased, it would be nice to see it go to different materials than other authors.

6. How do you feel about library facilities?

– The library needs more money in the budget for maintenance, upkeep and appearance. The busier libraries get a lot wear and they have fewer chairs because they get so much usage. Part of the budget should go to periodic reupholstering.

– South County needs a quiet area that is separated from the tutoring area, having those together makes the branch a noisy place.

7. Is the library meeting the needs of people in the community differently?

– Each library should think about programming for its customer base, which is starting to change.Libraries should stay in touch with what the neighborhood’s it serves is about.

– People do use multiple locations, will pick up books at one location and drop off at another.

– Some branches have particular book clubs that are not located at their neighborhood branch, i.e. Steele Creek and South County have a mystery reading group.

8. How involved are you in the library?

– When working at South County, patron participated in staff book club.

– Patron participates in book clubs that happen at South County and Steele Creek. The Check It Out reader is read once a month, the other programs that the library provides doesn’t meet any other needs.

– Information about becoming a library volunteer has never been seen.

– The time of day that meetings are offered coincides with work schedule and makes it hard to try and attend.

– After retirement, would voluntarily work former weekend schedule until position was filled.

9. Scenario A: Technology-based

– Words used to describe this scenario are “appealing and totally unappealing,” “special locations,” and “younger people.”

– Something like this could be seen in the library, but not the whole location. If there were locations like this on the north and south or east and west sides of towns, they would be great; there would be a lot of use of these locations.

– If a person does not have a computer, people will have access, using this library as a point of access for technology.

– There is a need for computers because people look for jobs, pay bills, go to social networks, do research and talk with family on computers now. There is an amazing amount of needs at different times.

10. Scenario B: Book-based

– Words used to describe this scenario are “fireplaces,” “traditional,” and “yay.”

– This scenario shows the generational divide, and it shows hold older people prefer a library based atmosphere versus technology-based.

– Quiet areas are important in libraries, not all older adults want quiet areas. There should also be a place where children can be children without feeling repressed. Patrons need to know there is some part of the library where one can sit and read and not hear noise.

– People don’t come to the library to sit and read anymore. Kids will come in and work on projects and then read.

– There are still some people who want to and do come to the library to read the paper.

– Some branches have more places to sit and read, i.e. Main Library.

11. Final Thoughts and Comments

– There needs to be more communication to the public about what is going on in the library. Now that it is known what is offered on the website, this will be used as a resource more to see what the library offers.

– It would be helpful to have a central location at each branch that tells about library events. Having everything lie on flat surfaces, i.e. the top of reference book shelves is not always seen.

– The checkout screen in Horizon does not tell people enough information. If a barcode does not read, you have to cancel out and start checking out all over again, this is frustrating.

One Response to “Notes from July 31st Public Focus Group-Morrison Regional Library”

  1. Kate Says:

    I was one of the participants for this group, and had only found out about the meeting because I saw the flyer only the day before (which is one of the reasons why a centralized Events board would be nice!). Another participant and I are heavy online catalog users, but because both of us have our Favorites set to take us directly to the catalog page, we had not seen the notice of this event on the library’s main webpage.

    Obviously, I went to the main webpage in order to come here to review the comments from these sessions. Since I did, I can say that the “Let’s Share Ideas” heading, though inviting, did not convey that there was a deadline of any kind involved – it makes it look as though this would be a place just for ongoing comments.

    Thank you.

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