A survey for all book worms and borrowers

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A NEW survey has been launched by West Sussex County Council to help it shape library services of the future.

The authority, which is cutting its budget by nearly £80million in the current financial climate, said the survey takes a “realistic look at the present and the future”.

It asks people to say how often they read books and whether they use paper volumes, electronic readers or audiobooks. An introduction says the survey is designed so library users and their children receive the best value from the service, while spending a few minutes on the questions will “help us to understand your thoughts about the future of your Library services”.

Recently, self-service machines were added to both Haywards Heath and Burgess Hill libraries helping to reduce costs.

The survey, which began on Monday, asks if, where and how people access the internet, what kind of e-reader gadget they have, and how they get information from WSCC.

Deputy leader Lionel Barnard urged people to help by taking part in the survey.

He said: “Planning the library service of the future is a constant process of asking questions and listening to the answers.

“We need to know how people rate their libraries, which ones they use, and what they use them for.”

The survey invites users to look ahead to future library services including how they would ‘spend’ 20 points on different priorities such as modernising library buildings or offering services from locations other than libraries themselves. People can also suggest their own ideas on what should be provided.

Users can fill in the survey online at home or at libraries at www.westsussex.gov.uk/haveyoursay under Live Consultations. Paper copies will shortly be available in libraries as well. The results will be available on the website from November.