1. Knowledge Base
  2. Building Great Questions

How to Use the Library Services Toolkit

Use Polco's pre-written surveys to get resident input on public library services

Libraries need to be responsive to community needs in ways that are tailored to the communities they serve, and when a pandemic or other challenge hits, the free services provided become even more vital. 


Tapping into what those community needs are can be challenging, particularly in light of COVID-19, which has closed libraries to the public and left them scrambling to find alternate ways of communicating with residents with face-to-face contact off-limits.


To get input from your residents and patrons, our survey experts at National Research Center designed the Library Toolkit on Polco for libraries to resource themselves with data and meet their communities’ changing needs. 


This collection of short surveys can help your library assess the quality of services, understand usage patterns, assess user preferences, identify unmet community needs and plan for the future. This toolkit includes short surveys directed to library patrons and general residents. Just add the relevant question sets to your Polco profile and let your residents know you need input! 


Toolkits are a curated group of short surveys that cover the input needs of specific entities or research areas (in this scenario, public libraries). The toolkit structure provides a deeper dive into a broader area of interest, providing a group of surveys that taken together give comprehensive coverage. 


Libraries can choose to post the entire series of survey modules or select a few key ones to home in on a subtopic, depending on interests and engagement goals. Several modules can be copy and pasted into one longer survey, posted individually as a monthly series, or you could post several modules on your profile at the same time (they would be seen as separate surveys). 


Note that some of the question modules are best for residents while others are intended for specific stakeholder groups (e.g. patrons). Additionally, each question can be customized (edited) to best suit your community needs.


The topics covered in the Library Toolkit include:


  • Overall quality of library services 
  • Library use
  • Quality of library collections 
  • Patron use preferences 
  • Quality of library facilities 
  • Customer service
  • Information sources used by residents 
  • Community priorities for libraries


To use these surveys in your community, check out the Library Toolkit here.


Screen Shot 2020-12-11 at 12.39.05 PM