To the editor: Rockingham Library seeks public input on technology

We want to hear from you!  This fall, the Rockingham Free Public Library is running an online survey to understand how the community uses the library’s technology so we can provide resources and services that are valuable to the community.

The Technology Survey is anonymous, available in English and Spanish, and takes 10 to 15 minutes to  complete. The survey is confidential and does not collect any personally identifiable information.  People from all walks of life use library computers to perform routine and life-changing tasks, from emailing friends to finding jobs. A 2009 study conducted by the University of Washington reported that use of library technology had significant impact in four critical areas: employment, education, health, and making community  connections.

The study revealed that:

    • 40 percent of library computer users (an estimated 30 million people) received help with employment needs. Among these users, 75 percent reported they searched for a job online. Half filled out an online application or submitted a resume.
    • 37 percent focused on health issues. Eight-two percent of these users used the computers to learn about a disease, illness, or medical condition. One-third sought out doctors or health care providers and about half followed up by making appointments for care.
    • 42 percent received help with educational needs. Among these users, 37 percent (an estimated 12 million students) used their local library computer to do homework.
    • Library computers link patrons to their government, communities, and civic organizations. Sixty-percent of users – 43.3 million people – used a library’s computer resources to connect with others.

These are the national numbers. But for the library to meet our community’s technology needs and to demonstrate how providing these services make a difference, it’s important that we have this information at a local level.

Please help us to improve Rockingham Free Public Library’s services by filling out the survey on the library website, or visit the library to access it from one of the library’s public access computers.

Thank you for your support.

Célina Houlné
Rockingham Free Public Library

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