Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Bangor Public Library Addresses Your Comments from Recent Library Survey

The Blog offers a big thumbs up to everyone who participated in the recent library survey Libqual. Over 900 surveys were completed and close to 600 comments were submitted. Your comments are particularly helpful to us at the library, as the comments shed light on ways we are successfully and less successfully meeting your expectations of us.

In an effort to continue the dialogue with you over many of the issues you have raised through your comments, the Blog will be offering further discussion of your concerns and offering explanations of current library policy and procedure.

The first issue the Blog will address is the public’s level of satisfaction with our selection of materials. Staff members generally are ordering books based on a number of factors. Staff members primarily are ordering based on reviews in publishing catalogues such as Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Booklist. These publications announce new titles months (sometimes close to a year) in advance. Early notice of a book’s impending release enables us to order the book well ahead of time so that, upon release, we will have a copy available to our public.

We also look to New York Times and other lists of bestsellers, generally adding most of the more popular items on these lists to our catalog. Chances are that if a book becomes a bestseller, our reading public will be interested in the book as well.

The publishing catalogues generally are helpful in allowing us to predict what will be the most in-demand titles. This is, however, an inexact science. Our book selecting clairvoyance can only take us so far.

In this case, this is where you, our reading public, can come to our aid. A third way Bangor Public Library’s book get selected for purchase is through the direct request for a book from a library user. Many of our current library users are already aware of this & take advantage of the opportunity. This is a perfect win-win scenario; we get to lean on your knowledge of and demand for books and you get a willing partner in your reading pursuits.

Bangor Public extends an invitation to all our readers to take advantage of this opportunity. A few of the negative comments about our collection note outdated or minimal collections in certain subjects. While we try to be aware of these deficiencies in our collection, many times we might not know of them without them being pointed out to us. We will gladly research to find the best available newer books in a subject area anytime you desire.

We have acted on subject areas noted as deficient in your LibQual responses, ordering several books in areas such as computer manuals, real estate, and investing.

We pride ourselves on having a well-rounded collection. This is a daunting and on-going pursuit, and frankly, not one that can be done without hard work & persistence on our part and an on-going open dialogue with our reading public.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

BPL should join with the other libraries in the State on Minerva, esp. the ones in their region to better help patrons who can't get to BPL either because they have no way of getting there(its a long ride from the Newport area on a bike & even longer, colder walk in the winter.)due to a lack of transportation or other reasons.
This blog should also not be restricted to users of Google. Add way for those of us that use Yahoo can comment other than anonymously.

Bangor Public Library

Bangor Public Library
Bangor Public Library,
145 Harlow Street,
Bangor ME 04401