KRL receives guidance from more than 2,000 residents in survey

BREMERTON — A total of 2,084 Kitsap residents responded to Kitsap Regional Library’s online survey for the creation of our strategic plan.

The results include specific answers to 27 questions that included multiple-choice responses plus more than 4,100 comments to open-ended questions.

“We can’t thank the Kitsap residents who responded to the survey enough,” said Jeff Brody, director of Community Relations for KRL. “We know it’s a lot to ask for people to take their time to answer this many questions, especially questions that are not a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ So it’s especially encouraging that so many people chose to share some pretty lengthy comments about the library system.”

Brody said that he is a little disappointed KRL could not get more non-users to participate in the survey. The vast majority who responded do use the library.

About 20 percent of the responses came from people who consider Silverdale to be their home branch; another 17 percent were from Sylvan Way patrons; and 15 percent each from Poulsbo and Bainbridge Island patrons. Port Orchard patrons accounted for almost 15 percent of the response. Brody noted that 2.5 percent of the responses came from people who use the library exclusively online – accessing KRL’s digital collection through its web site.

Here are some of the results of survey:

• 90 percent of the respondents gave KRL an overall assessment of 8, 9 or 10 on a scale of 1 to 10; fewer than 1 percent gave KRL a score of 5 or less.

• 92.5 percent would highly recommend KRL to family and friends.

• 98 percent agree or strongly agree that KRL is important to the community because it provides access to materials and resources.

• 95 percent or strongly agree that KRL is important because it promotes literacy and love of reading.

• 93 percent agree or strongly agree that KRL improves the quality of life in Kitsap.

• Respondents pretty consistently told KRL they would use the library more often if the facilities were open more often, especially on Sundays and evenings.

• Respondents also told us they would use the library more if KRL had more copies of regular books, ebooks and audiobooks available.

• Based on the results, the most important services KRL provides, in rank order:

1. Books, movies and music

2. Trained staff to answer questions/give recommendations

3. Downloadable ebooks, e-audiobooks and music

4. Classes and events for adults

5. Computer or wi-fi access to the Internet

Brody also said the survey responses indicated that some library patrons are unaware of certain library services that are already available.

For example, some patrons do not realize that they can request that KRL consider purchasing an item that they want or borrowing that item from another library. KRL fulfilled more than 3,700 requests for materials by borrowing them from other libraries last year; and it purchased copies of hundreds of items based on requests from patrons.

Another example is that some library patrons were not aware of the myriad of ways that they can get reading recommendations from KRL, including our monthly online list of staff picks, our patron recommendations through the “awesome box,” and by asking library staff or communicating directly with one of our librarians online or in person.

“We know there are still people in the community who don’t know that they can obtain an ebook, a downloadable audiobook or downloadable magazines from the library,” Brody said. “We have touted those services, but people are still surprised to find out that they can borrow a book to read on their Kindle or iPad from KRL.”


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