9 July 2014

How do you describe a public library? - the community speaks

By Jan Richards

This project builds on a similar initiative undertaken in 2013 where members of the wider library and information community were asked to say what words or concepts immediately came to mind when thinking  about a public library. This was never meant to be an in-depth or scientifically accurate survey. Rather it was designed as a vox pop to give the Standing Committee some direction for its marketing and advocacy campaign. I

We had 1,234 replies from colleagues in 13 countries. Regardless of which country the respondent hailed from the same words had prominence with books, community, access, knowledge, reading and space being firm favourites.

Now, Standing Committee Members are asking their communities what words they think of when they consider their local library. To date surveys are available in English, Spanish and German with more coming on line each day.

The results will help the Section in planning for the future and will be discussed in Lyon.

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