Athol Public Library - Focus Group Questions
Last Modified: 21 March 2012
Discussions with members of the Council on Aging indicated the number one requested need by this age group is for computer training, computer skills development and enhancement and staff available who could answer their questions. There was a definite need noted for instruction for those who have never ever used a computer right up through those who were fairly proficient but needed help getting to the next level or wanted help with a specific program they had.
These were responses to several small focus groups held at the library.
1. What needs do you see the Athol Public Library fulfilling for area adult residents?
Providing Internet access
- Internet use
- One on one help
- Someone to ask computer questions of
Resources for town history
Obtaining books beyond the library
2 . What are the most beneficial resources, services or programs offered by the library? What are the top three reasons you come to the library?
Large print books
Job related (reviews books in science before buying)
To get things beyond the library
Search local history
Use the reference books
Use Interlibrary Loan service
Take grandchildren to activities
See the director about community related activities
Books and other materials
Food and cooking ideas
To find out what’s going on in town
Programs not now offered (for example):
Saturday computer classes
Computer topics not now covered
How to build a website
Using a computer
Software like Excel, Powerpoint
Academic tutoring using volunteers
How to stop smoking
How to lower you cholesterol
Expanded health reference area
Large print books for seniors
Wireless computer access
3. Are there any services/programs not now offered by the library which you think the library should provide?
One on one computer help
Basic, basic computer classes
How to use the Internet
4. If you use the Internet does your use of the Internet or other electronic information sources supplemented or replaced library services? Please explain.
Some still don’t use the Internet, so it has not changed their need for library service.
The Internet has no time limitations since it is available twenty-four hours a day.
The Internet is a supplement to library services and cannot replace historical documents.
No, the Internet will not replace libraries because:
Books are not going out of style.
In all walks of life there is a need for the library.
Technology does not necessarily supplant other services. For example, despite the popularity of e-mail, the post office is not going out of business.
The Internet can enhance library use and lead to knowledge about new books. The Internet links to other ideas that need to be explored. Thus, the Internet increases the need for the library.
The limitation of time limits the use of the library more than its appeal. People with busy lives have little time to explore library resources.
The Internet can be a time waster, while a book can be a “relaxer”.
Libraries offer doors to other resources.
Reading off the screen can cause headaches.
The Internet is enhancing information not replacing other forms.
Don’t forget: books are portable.
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