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Library Computers and the Internet: IMPACT Survey

Did you know... Library patrons visited the website, thelibrary.org, more than 3.1 million times last year? And they averaged 25,000 page views every day. We know how busy the Library website is, but we would like to better understand how it makes a difference in your life.

Beginning Friday, Sept. 9 through Monday, Oct. 3, the Springfield-Greene County Library District will conduct an online survey to collect information about how our patrons use the Library's computers and Internet connection, and how this service makes a difference in their lives. It is one of about 400 participating library systems in the United States.

Patrons may access the online survey by clicking on the Impact icon on the footer of thelibrary.org home page, or go to http://impactsurvey.org/libselect/index.php?fscs=MO0020.

The information will help the Library evaluate our current services for the community, and communicate the value of public access computing. The University of Washington, with generous support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will make the results available to the Library to use in our own data collection, planning, evaluation, and advocacy efforts. Through the survey website, the Library also gains access to new advocacy tools, including video instruction, to help us communicate the value of public access technology.

Individuals must be at least 14 years old to take the survey. It is completely confidential and is available in English and Spanish. All questions are optional, so feel free to answer only the questions you wish to answer. The survey can be completed in 10 to 15 minutes.

This IMPACT Survey will ask some general questions about how you use the Library, and provides multiple-choice options. It collects data across the following topics: general use of library and online resources, civic engagement, eBusiness, eCommerce, education, eGovernment, employment, health & wellness, and social inclusion.

The survey is an extension of the U.S. IMPACT Study. Conducted in 2009, the U.S. IMPACT Study was the first large-scale investigation of the ways library patrons use computers and the Internet at public libraries, why they use it, and how it affects their lives. The study was instrumental in providing evidence that access to the Internet at U.S. public libraries has a profound and measurable impact on individuals and communities.

The first study findings in "Opportunity for All: How the American Public Benefits from Internet Access at U.S. Libraries," [pdf] have helped public libraries throughout the United States improve public access services and advocate for better support of public access computing. The study's second report, "Opportunity for All: How Library Policies and Practices Impact Public Internet Access," [pdf] was released in June of 2011.

To learn more about the research behind the survey, the logistics of running the survey, and what the patron experience is like, please visit http://impactsurvey.org or contact the survey coordinator at info@impactsurvey.org or (206) 543-4324.


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