In early March, interns Elizabeth Azucena Reyes Amaya and Frida Miyuki Santiago Santos administered Roseburg Public Library’s Community Technology Survey, and the results from 142 respondents provided an excellent snapshot of the ways in which people connect the library with info and ideas.
Adult females were the predominant survey respondents, and many of them have children homeschooling or attending Roseburg Public Schools. A majority of all respondents have visited the library, work regularly with technology and speak English as their primary language.
Some of the most surprising results centered on computer skills classes. I know from personal experience that community members seek basic computer instruction, such as using a mouse and navigating the Internet, as well as social media. What I didn’t expect was a significant number of survey respondents indicated they want to learn about computer viruses and uploading and downloading files. They also want their children to learn the Microsoft Office Suite, including Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
The library anticipated some of these needs, and last week Eli taught classes on basic computer skills for adults and Google Docs for youth. We had such an overwhelming response to the basic course that Outreach Services Coordinator Adrienne Groves plans to offer this class monthly. The next session is 10 a.m., Wednesday, April 17. The class is free, but registration is required; call 541-492-7052 for reservations. As we move forward, we plan to offer additional tech-related classes for people of all ages and skill levels.
The other portion of the community survey focused on using the library as a community space for technology and idea projects. Eighty-two percent of respondents indicated they would consider using the library in this way. Specifically, people would like the library to provide office supplies, a computer-aided design program, a 3D printer and a sewing machine, among other items. Those requests coincide with a partnership we’re developing with the Douglas Education Service District regarding joint use of its 3D printer, and we anticipate developing a small space in the library for people to creatively explore their interests.
Eli and Miyuki’s work on the Community Technology Survey has provided information that will be valuable long after their internship concludes this week. Their visit was made possible by the nonprofit Women’s International Leadership and Learning. I thank WILL, Eli and Miyuki, and you for helping Roseburg Public Library with the survey.