Survey Results & Strategic Plan Goals

Last September, the Fox River Valley Public Library District conducted a community survey meant to help us map out a strategic plan that will guide us for the next five years. Following are some of the opinions you shared with us, as well as a preliminary peek into the strategic plan, which is still being finalized.  

 

Who answered the survey? 

763 respondents started the survey and 80% completed it.  

 

Village representation was: 

31%   Carpentersville 

19%   West Dundee  

13%   East Dundee  

10%   Algonquin  

10%   Sleepy Hollow  

10%   Gilberts  

1%   Elgin  

4%   Other  

 

Generational representation was: 

27%   66+  

21%   36-45  

17%   56-65  

16%   46-55  

10%   26-35 

2%   19-25 

2%   under 19 

 

Library Activity 

  • 35% of respondents visit the library monthly, 26% visit weekly, 3% visit daily. 
  • Some of the reasons for not using the physical building showed that patrons use their own technology (44%), never think of the library as an option (21%), say their children are grown (16%), prefer to buy and own their own material (15%), and are too busy (11%). 

  • As far as the location used most frequently, 61% used the Dundee Library, 19% Randall Oaks Library, 13% were virtual users and 3% used Home Delivery. 

  • Respondents were heavily focused on using the library for materials with 87% using the library to find a book and 42% finding DVDs, CDs, and videos. 

  • Other primary uses were attending a library program (43%), just enjoying spending time at the library (39%), visiting and/or playing in the children’s area (26%), or using the printer/photocopier/fax/scanner (22%). 

 

How people describe the Fox River Valley Libraries 

  • 96% agreed that the library is an important part of the community, 92% found the library a welcoming and safe place, 90% found the library to be a clean and well-maintained place, and 86% found the staff to be knowledgeable and helpful. 

  • The areas people agreed less strongly with were that the library has up-to-date technology (56%), adequate space for the needs of the community (46%), comfortable furniture (55%), and an adequate collection for their needs (64%). 

 

Important Library Service 

  • The top five library areas of service were access to physical materials (84%), digital content (71%), access to Wi-Fi (78%), children’s programs (74%), and adult programs (57%).  

  • Five services seen as less important were license plate renewals, 24/7 access to library materials (remote lockers), Home Delivery, and programs focused on citizenship, immigration help, and English language learning. 

 

Important Library Facility Features 

  • The most important library facility feature was a readily accessible collection of books and materials with 96% marking it extremely or somewhat important. 

  • The next ten extremely/somewhat important features were convenient parking (89%), quiet spaces (86%), children’s area (85%), teen area (80%), good pedestrian/bicycle access (76%), study rooms (74%), areas for using/plugging in your own technology (74%), improved points of service (72%), social spaces for informal gathering and collaboration (71%), and sustainable, energy-efficient, green buildings (69%). 

  • The least extremely/somewhat important features were a food and drink area with seating (40%), dedicated space for video or music production (40%), meeting space for up to 100 people (36%), close to schools (36%), and outdoor seating area (35%). 

 

Library Programs 

  • 49% of respondents indicated that they have attended adult programs at the library, 43% attended children’s programs, 22% family programs, 14% virtual programs, and 10% teen programs. 

  • Most requested programs were how-to classes/workshops, arts and crafts programs, summer reading, health and wellness, book clubs/discussion groups, cooking/food, holiday programs, and programs for seniors. The least requested on the survey were GED preparation, anime/manga club, social media apps, English language learning, teen advisory group, video gaming/e-sports/e-tournaments, and comic-con and fandom programs. 

 

Referendum Support 

  • 58% indicated they would support a referendum for the renovation of the Dundee Library or a new main library building and 26% indicated they were not sure. 

  • When asked about a referendum to expand library services, 57% indicated they would support a referendum and 26% were not sure. 

 

2024-29 Strategic Plan Goals 

Consultants at ReThinking Libraries, who guided us on this journey, have taken all feedback from the survey, in-person community engagement sessions, and a strategic retreat attended by the Board of Trustees, select staff, and members of the public, and identified the following overarching goals. The board and staff will now work to identify tactics to reach those goals over the next five years. 

  • Improve the physical spaces of the library to meet the growing and evolving needs of the community. The desired outcome is that library spaces are seen as attractive and desirable places for residents to spend their time and support the resources and services users expect.

  • Improve the quality of resources and services through increased investments in staff and resources. The desired outcome is that residents see the library as a vital source for the services and resources they want and need. 

  • Expand outreach, partnerships, and opportunities beyond the physical building with an emphasis on services to areas and users most underserved and in need. The desired outcome is that the library is a more easily accessible and visible partner in all corners of the community. 

  • Raise community awareness and appreciation of FRVPLD and its full suite of resources, programs, and services with the goal of raising community financial support for the library. The desired outcome is an increasing number of community members who engage with the library, seeing it as a valuable asset worthy of increased use and funding. 


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