Each year, Lorensbergs carries out research to explore how library needs are changing and hear our netloan customers’ plans for their services in the year ahead. The 2018 survey was circulated late last Autumn to all public library customers which together represent over half of the UK public library sector. Over 80 library authorities took part in the research, providing a set of findings that offer clear insights into what library services provide and their future plans.
The results are available in a set of summary slides - please see the download link below. The key findings are as follows:
- The critical importance of libraries in supporting digital inclusion and skills development continues to grow: nearly half of public libraries saw increasing numbers of customers request this kind of help. Only one library authority reported a decrease
- The Assisted Digital services provided by library staff offer a lifeline for customers’ wellbeing and future prospects. Informal ‘ad hoc’ provision of this help is rated as the most important, with 97% rating it ‘essential’ or ‘important’
- Almost 1 in 5 libraries saw People’s Network computer usage increase in 2018. Demand was driven primarily by Universal Credit claimants, followed by Universal Jobmatch users
- Over 40% of libraries have plans to increase or develop digital support services and resources in response to customer demand. These range from basic computer skills classes, to code clubs and innovation labs, as well as visa applications support
- The role of self-service in enabling library staff to focus on delivering these value-added services is growing. Over 50% of routine transactions are undertaken through self-service, with plans in some libraries (40%) to increase this total to over 80% of transactions
- Providing up to date computers is a key part of maintaining the People’s Network in libraries. 50% of libraries will be using Windows 10 by end of 2019. However, upgrade plans for the other 50% are either further away or not yet known
>> To download the full set of results, please click here.
With thanks to all our customers who participated in this year's research - with very best wishes from the Lorensbergs Team.