Open to opinion

The Sand Creek Library, located at 1821 S. Academy Blvd., is a hub in the Southeast community.
[Courtesy photo/Pikes Peak Library District]

PPLD, research firm team on community-needs survey

What types of programs, classes or services do you need in Southeast Colorado Springs? Do you know whether you can find them at your local library?

And if you can’t, would you like to?

This is the information that the Pikes Peak Library District and Springs-based market research firm Elevated Insights are attempting to gather this week, via a community-needs survey aimed at both existing and potential library patrons.

“The survey is really all about finding what our community needs from its library,” said Kayah Swanson, district public information specialist. “We want to make sure we’re looking at a broad-enough perspective.

“What folks need from our space might not fit into the confines of the ‘traditional library.’”

“We just want to make sure we’re hearing from lots of groups who are and aren’t aligned with the library.” —Debbie Balch, president Elevated Insights

Debbie Balch, president of Elevated Insights, said the digital questionnaire was designed for all corners of and consumers in El Paso County.

The bilingual survey takes about 10 minutes to complete and asks consumers everything from demographic information to personal interests, and includes the participants’ thoughts on what sort of services they would like to see and on what services the library already provides, among others. It’s available in both English and Spanish at https://bit.ly/2qR31da.

“We want to hear from everybody,” Balch said. “We want all the needs to be met.”

Historically, Southeast Colorado Springs — which is served by the Sand Creek and Ruth Holley libraries — is underrepresented during these types of information-gathering efforts. To the tune of about 25 percent, Balch said.

And that matters when it comes to the district’s ability to best cater its services to its constituents. What patrons want from Library 21c, on the city’s north side, may be completely different than those services sought at Sand Creek.

“When you start getting more and more responses from different city and county [commission] districts and ages and genders, you can break down all that data at the end,” Balch said. “We know we need to do concerted efforts” to reach every current and would-be user.

Residents have trough Nov. 17 to complete the study. As a thank you, patrons who make it all the way through may register to win a $200 Visa gift card.

“It’s going to be a nice, robust study,” Balch said. “We just want to make sure we’re hearing from lots of groups who are and aren’t aligned with the library.”

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