Library Survey Reveals Satisfaction In The Stacks

June 30, 1991|By Amy L. Miller | Amy L. Miller,Staff writer

ELDERSBURG — More than eight out of 10 patrons who responded to a recent Carroll County Public Library survey report they are pleased with the servicethey receive.

Eighty-four percent of the respondents to the yearly survey distributed in April were complimentary or had specific comments about the collection, assistant director Gail L. Griffith told CCPL board members Wednesday night.

"This was a great morale-booster to the staff," Griffith said. "It showed that people really appreciate the services we are giving."

The survey -- distributed during a 13-hour period of one morning, one evening and one Saturday in each branch -- garnered 4,755 responses this year. Patrons were asked what they were looking for and whether they found it.

System-wide, the survey found that 93 percent of the browsing patrons, 78 percent of those searching for a specific subject or author and 66 percent who were looking for a certain title located the book they were seeking.

"I think our efforts to build the North Carroll and Taneytown collections really paid off, as well as the physical changes at Mount Airy," said Griffith. "People go in believing they are going to find what they are looking for."

Of theresponses gathered, 896 bore added comments, totaling 58 typed pages; 38 pages worth were received last year.

"Very specific comments are used for collection development," Griffith said. "Once we understand what people want, we can meet their needs."

Among the areas for suggested improvement were requests for Sunday and longer weekend hours and more non-print materials. In Westminster, 39 percent of the people suggested parking be increased.

General complaints about the collection balanced themselves out, Griffith said.

"For everyonewho said they could always find the best-sellers, someone else said there aren't enough and some said there were not enough classics," she said. "There wasn't a trend."

Displays are being prepared for each branch, juxtaposing customer comments with library responses.

"We hope to have the displays by the end of July so people can see what we are doing with the survey," Griffith said.

In other library news, board members adopted a drug-free workplace policy.

Library officials were required to create the policy to receive money under the federal Library Services and Reconstruction Act, as required by theDrug-Free Workplace Act of 1988.

Based on current county and library rules, the policy prohibits library employees from making, distributing, possessing or using illegal substances at work or while conducting library business.

"Normally, when you think of drugs, you think of LSD or pot or something," said library director Martha M. Makosky. "But drugs can be all sorts of things."

Employees must reportcriminal drug offenses that occurred in the workplace to their supervisor within five days of being convicted. Violations may result in an immediate suspension or firing, the policy said.

"We would follow the regular disciplinary procedures," said Makosky. "(The discipline chosen) would have to do with the degree of the violation."

Makosky said there have never been any drug violations within the county library system.

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