Ever wonder if the time you take to complete surveys is of any benefit? Is it worth it? Does this effort just disappear?
Last fall you probably completed the “Public Library Funding and Technology Access Survey,” sometimes called the “Plinter Survey.” It took some time to do. Remember all those questions about whether you offer public internet access or do you have a maintenance schedule for your computers or what factors influence your decisions about adding computers or how do you receive IT support?
The results are out. Here’s the announcement from John Bertot, who’s the guy who created and administered the survey:
I thought that I would share with you some of how we are using the Public Library Funding and Technology Access survey data you so graciously help us with each year. We have developed 4 different issue briefs (identified and briefly described below) for use by state libraries, public libraries, and others to help advocate for public library public access technology. This is just the first wave, as we hope to develop more, and are pushing also to have state-specific one-page summaries for all responding states for which we had enough data in the 2009-2010 survey. If you are interested, I would be happy to share a prototype with you – just let me know.
For those of you who may have missed the launch, ALA released the 2009-2010 Libraries Connect Communities report (available at www.ala.org/plinternetfunding) just before the ALA conference. We also released the full survey results report, available at www.plinternetsurvey.org.
The four issue briefs we have developed are:
Public Libraries and Broadband
Public Libraries and Community Access
Public Libraries and E-government
Public Libraries and Employment
You can find all 4 directly at http://www.plinternetsurvey.org/?q=node/17
The first page is a one page summary that can be handed out separately. The following 3 pages get into the issue area more and go beyond the survey data. Feel free to access and use these — and please do let us know what you think about them – we are trying a range of ways to get the data back in more usable form than large reports.
These findings can be very helpful to you as you develop arguments for library, and especially library technology, funding. Take some time and peruse the findings. Libraries are VERY important in providing technological access, but are struggling with a range of issues to provide these services. This is very informative reading.
Library Development Consultant
Vermont Department of Libraries
271 North Main Street
Rutland, VT 05701