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ONTARIO PUBLIC LIBRARIES STRATEGIC PLAN RESEARCH Ontario Public Libraries Strategic Directions Council February 1, 2001 MARKET PROBE CANADA SDC Survey The context for change: 1. Attitudes toward the library 2. How the library is used now 3. The changing information environment

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ontario public libraries strategic plan research

ONTARIO PUBLIC LIBRARIES STRATEGIC PLAN RESEARCH

Ontario Public Libraries Strategic Directions Council

February 1, 2001

MARKET PROBE

CANADA

sdc survey
SDC Survey
  • The context for change:

1. Attitudes toward the library

2. How the library is used now

3. The changing information environment

4. Demographic factors

research method
Research Method
  • 1007, 10-minute telephone interviews with Ontario residents over the age of 18
  • October 23 to October 29, 2000
  • Proportionate random sample
  • Callbacks to households speaking only French
  • All interviews were completed between October 23 and October 29, 2000
  • Instrument designed by Jim Morgenstern of dmA Planning and Management Services, with input from the SDC core management team
slide4
I. Attitudes Toward the Library
  • The library's status in society
  • The library's ability to get funding and support
  • How much the library will be used
opinion of future importance of public libraries
Opinion of Future Importance of Public Libraries

Q.16

Base: All respondents (1007).

benefit of public libraries relative to other tax supported services
Benefit of Public Libraries Relative to Other Tax-supported Services

Q.18

Base: All respondents (1007).

multivariate segmentation
Multivariate Segmentation
  • Input: Likelihood ratings for future scenarios
  • Output: Groups who hold similar attitudes
  • Use: Understanding of how attitudes, behaviour and demographics interrelate
library user segments
Library User Segments

Base: All respondents assigned to segments (720).

ratings of future scenarios by segment
Ratings of Future Scenarios by Segment

Not at All Likely

Very Likely

The public library will be the only place the average Ontario resident can afford to go for information

Seekers

Traditionalists

Supporters

Negators

ratings of future scenarios by segment10
Ratings of Future Scenarios by Segment

Not at All Likely

Very Likely

Seekers

Traditionalists

Supporters

Negators

The public library will be the only place the average Ontario resident can afford to go for information

Libraries will be open longer hours

opinion of future importance of public libraries by segment
Opinion of Future Importance of Public Libraries by Segment

Q.16

Base: All respondents (seekers=196, traditionalists=168, supporters=158, Negator=198).

benefit of public libraries relative to other tax supported services by segment
Benefit of Public Libraries Relative to Other Tax-supported Services by Segment

Q.18

Base: All respondents (seekers=196, traditionalists=168, supporters=158, Negator=198).

conclusions
Conclusions

Attitudes toward the library vary dramatically between groups. Nevertheless, there is a core of strong support for current and expanded library roles.

conclusions16
Conclusions

To-date, the key role of the library for most residents is lending materials.

conclusions17
Conclusions

Using the library can be associated with using other information sources like bookstores and the Internet.

conclusions18
Conclusions

Demographics are cause for concern, with younger residents growing up with a fundamentally different relation to the library.

library user segments19
Library User Segments

The segmentation gives us a framework in which residents’ attitudes vary on two dimensions:

  • Library as public institution offering equal access or as a competitor in an information marketplace
  • Library as changing proactively to meet users’ needs or as preserving the status quo
library user segments20
Library User Segments

This framework provides two broad strategies for girding public support for the library:

  • Its social relevance can be increased by identifying disadvantaged groups who rely on it.
  • Its personal relevance can be increased by meeting users’ needs.
opportunities and risks
Opportunities and Risks

Seekers

  • Positive toward the library
  • Heaviest users
  • At risk if needs not met
  • Support is critical for the library
opportunities and risks22
Opportunities and Risks

Negators

  • Have written-off the library
  • Minimize the size of this group by making the library useful to them
opportunities and risks23
Opportunities and Risks

Supporters

  • Enthusiastic backers
  • Need to know the library is doing a good job equalizing societal differences
  • At risk if library perceived ineffectual
opportunities and risks24
Opportunities and Risks

Traditionalists

  • Lower expectations
  • See traditional functions of the library as relevant