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Published: 7 May 2018

In our last annual satisfaction survey conducted in September 2017, many (over 1000) of you took the time to give us some valuable feedback. Our Library Manager, Vicki Munro, read every single comment (which took quite a while!) and the information was passed on to relevant staff for review and implementation during 2018.

Overall satisfaction levels were extremely high with over 90% of respondents rating their overall library experience as ‘good’ (24%) or ‘very good’ (66%).

Here’s a summary of some of the main improvements raised, and what we’re doing to improve:

Our collection

Many of you wanted more…

  • copies of popular titles (fiction and non fiction books);
  • literary fiction, the classics and Science Fiction;
  • DVDs;
  • talking books;
  • magazines;
  • books for kids; and
  • eBooks, eMagazines and eMusic.

We’re now buying more copies (and increased our budget for many parts of the collection), improved the layout of our DVD collection and the signage for our Junior Fiction collection to make things easier to find, plus we offer the following:

  • ‘Quick browse’ collection on Level 1 of Woollahra Library at Double Bay where you can drop in to find multiple copies of all our most popular titles and borrow them for 3 weeks. More of these same titles are available on Level 2 if you have more time to explore.
  • ‘Fast reads’ is our collection of popular titles, which can only be borrowed for 1 week to keep them circulating to more people.
  • 'Reservations' and ‘Inter-library loans’ - If the book you want is still not available you can reserve a copy, or we can borrow it from another library (for a small fee), and we’ll notify you when it’s next available, and hold it for you.
  • ‘Suggest a purchase’ - You can make a suggestion for us to consider purchasing a book not currently in our collection.
  • Online library – we’re expanding our digital collection and adding it to the library catalogue, so you can more easily find and download eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines, eMusic, language learning and more.

Don’t forget, you can also search our online catalogue before you visit to check if we have the book you want:

Online services

Many of you weren’t aware of our vast range of online services (all FREE). Here’s a quick run down:

Need help? Use our online ‘Ask the library’ service anytime. We have also created some quick start guides available on our website for eBooks, eMusic and eMagazines, or you can join one of our weekly Tech Connect sessions at any library to get one on one assistance.

Kindle users

Many of you asked about downloading eBooks and eAudiobooks onto your Kindle. Unfortunately only the Kindle Fire platform is available in Australian public libraries. None of the other Kindle platforms are available. Without it being available, we simply cannot offer such a service.

The catalogue

Many of you felt the Library Catalogue could be improved. We definitely agree, and we have taken all your feedback to the vendors of this system and are working on solutions. Watch this space for updates.

TIP: When searching for a title, you always need to go a step further in the search results by clicking on the ‘title’ to find out if the item is available and its location. Don’t forget staff can also assist you to maximise the catalogue’s many features such as:

  • A Did you mean list of suggestions for misspelt terms.
  • Customers Who Searched for this Item also Searched for
  • Links to the database Novelist plus for readalikes and more author and title information

Events and programs

We offer a diverse range of events and programs to meet the needs of our community. The survey showed that many of our customers are unaware of the variety of our programs. Here are our top tips for staying up to date:

  • Sign up for our monthly e-newsletter – get event updates delivered straight to your mailbox
  • Grab one of our printed ‘What’s On Guides’ from any of our libraries
  • Follow us on Facebook
  • Explore the full range of programs on the What’s On section of our website

Timing of events was another area of feedback and we are working on improving this on an ongoing basis. We have trialled Sunset Author talks at Watsons Bay Library and will continue these in 2018.

Parents requested children’s programs to be focused on specific age groups and for staff to enforce the age categories. We feel that this is the responsibility of the parents and carers attending to ensure that their children attend the most appropriate age event. Please help us out so that everyone enjoys our events and programs.

We have also taken on board the requests for programming events for 10-13 years and 18-25 years, and will work on developing more age appropriate programs.

Spaces and noise

Many felt our libraries were too noisy and suggested a range of tactics to reduce the noise.

We are reviewing our use of screens across our Libraries, purchasing and encouraging the use of headphones, implemented digital sign reminders for the use of mobile phones, and have devoted our Events Space to HSC study during the months of July to November each year. We agree a larger Library would be ideal at Double Bay, but this is a long-term solution requiring broader Council support and funding.

Libraries are evolving to more of a community space about more than just books. Our vision is ‘connecting people and ideas’ – bringing people together in various ways to connect, learn and grow. As a result our Libraries now have competing uses and a new range of customers, so sometimes these do conflict. We ask our customers to work together with Library staff to be considerate of all needs, to create a warm and welcoming environment for everyone.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete the last survey. We value your feedback and are always working on ways to improve.

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