Posted by: HouPE | 04/24/2013

Meeting the standard

Here at Perry Library we sure are excited about meeting a goal and we hope you all are too.  We certainly try to offer outstanding service to all of our patrons, but one group of patrons has received some special attention over the past year or so. We think that this attention has resulted in a win-win situation both for the patrons and the library.

Who is this special group? Our patrons over the age of 55! 55 and up are considered by the American Library Association (ALA) as older adults. We like to look to the ALA for their guidance as they are the professional organization for libraries of all kinds.

If you visited Perry Public Library during the month of February you may have been one of the adults that was given a survey. All surveys were reviewed and the information noted. But the surveys returned by those in the older adult group were part of a special research study.  The surveys were constructed using the Guidelines for Library and Information Services to Older Adults. These seven guidelines define successful service to seniors. The research study measured whether our patrons perceived the library as meeting those standards. We are quite pleased with the results!

The guidelines are:
1. Acquire information about this population
2. Reflect their special needs in collections, programs & services
3. Make the library safe and comfortable
4. Make information they need available
5. Target older adults with programming
6. Provide services to those unable to physically visit the library
7. Treat older adults with courtesy and respect

Our patrons overall gave us passing marks in all seven! Special points of pride are:

100% of surveyed patrons either agreed or strongly agreed that they are treated with courtesy and respect!

98% found materials to be interesting!

87% found programs to be interesting!

Based upon the survey results we’ve made the following adjustments to improve services:

We rescheduled adult programming to make it available during daytime hours. If we can’t reschedule the speaker, we hope to begin video recording the program for daytime viewing.

We shifted our collections where possible. We shifted the books from the top shelves to the bottom ones. Due to limited space, we had to choose either between climbing or stooping. We thought the lesser of the two evils was stooping and rearranged.

And of course about a year ago we introduced our MVP Senior Advisory Board. They work as a fantastic team to keep the library in touch with ways we can improve services. A special thank you goes out to them for their letter writing support for the Perry Library renovation project that was just recently approved.

If you are interested in learning more about this research project, stop in at Perry Library and check out the results! And of course if there’s anything we can do to improve your library experience, be sure to let us know!

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