Many thanks to all of you who replied to my original question:
"Last year we carried out the latest PLUS survey. The results for the
questions "Did you find the book you were looking for" and "Did you get the
information you were looking for" were disappointing, particularly for the
Central Library. We have discussed the issue internally, and have come up
with some possible reasons why this might have happened, along with some
possible solutions. But we wondering whether this was a national trend, or
perhaps one that is linked mainly to central libraries."
Many of you have noticed a drop in the percentage of people finding the book
or information they want, though there are a couple of exceptions. It does
seem particularly focused on central libraries. The kinds of
reasons/conclusions that people were suggesting were:
1. People expect more/everything of central libraries - perhaps too much? -
and are therefore disappointed, e.g. people in Luton sometimes mistake the
public library for a branch of the university library and are surprised when
we don't have lots of high level academic texts available.
2. The use of IT means that people maybe bypassing staff altogether -
looking things for things on the Internet and not finding them - and not
asking staff for help - and staff look too busy or are not visible enough
3. The sometimes "impersonal" nature of a central library, greater turnover
of staff, busier staff - means less opportunity to develop a close customer
relationship, unlike in a small branch where staff tend to get to know their
regular users, and therefore people do not ask staff in larger
branches/central libraries for help
4. Changes in the way BV118 was defined, from the 2000/01 to the 2003/04
survey, to a more stringent definition may have had an impact on the results
5. Guiding in libraries may not be clear enough; not accessible to people
with disabilities; not available in languages other than English
We have arranged, within Luton, to do what we can in terms of improving
customer care, checking our guiding, ensuring there is help available and
promoting/marketing our services to ensure people are aware of what
libraries and library staff can do.
Principal Librarian, Information Services and E-Delivery
Luton Central Library
St. George's Square, Luton
Tel: 01582 547439
IMPORTANT: Luton Borough Council routinely monitors the content of e-mail sent
and received by its e-mail systems, to ensure compliance with its policies and procedures.
E-mails that contain encrypted material, program files, are obscene, inflammatory,
criminal, offensive, in breach of copyright or contain a virus or threat to Council`s
computer systems may be intercepted and/or deleted.
Internet communications are not secure.
The Council is not responsible for any changes made to the message after it has
This message is intended only for the addressee. Any unauthorised copying or
distribution may be unlawful.
If you are not the intended recipient, please notify the sender at
Luton Borough Council
Luton LU1 2BQ.
Tel. (01582) 546000
or by using the reply option to this e-mail.
Then delete this message from your system.