Libraries Unlimited is a charitable organisation that runs 50 public libraries, four mobile libraries, three prison libraries as well as FabLab Devon and the Business and Intellectual Property Centre at both Exeter and Barnstaple Library. Whilst library usage is reportedly declining nationally, they are still viewed as important to communities. The charity is an ambitious organisation providing a host of free services, and is set to become a National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) bringing art and culture to the community. Research was required in order to advance understanding of how Libraries Unlimited could better service its target audience and ultimately deliver against its long term goals.
Turquoise conducted our first in-depth market research project. The results have been very thorough and have helped us to better understand our users and non-users and to plan how we can reach more people in the future. The team at Turquoise are very professional, helpful and efficient and I would recommend them.
Beth O’Sullivan – Communications & Marketing Manager
- To establish who is using the library
- To determine what people are most commonly using the library for
- To explore the awareness of what services are on offer
- To determine what services members, non members and non users would like to see on offer at libraries
- To explore the impact of libraries upon local communities
We conducted both quantitative and qualitative market research to answer the brief, beginning with an online survey with 1,000 library members and 150 non-members. We were able to determine the motivators and inhibitors to using the library as-well-as demographic information and attitudinal statements.
After some top level analysis of these findings, we went on to conduct 20 tele-depth interviews in order to gain perceptions of the quality and range of the services on offer and to find out what would encourage more usage of the library and why.
Following the interviews, 4 focus groups were moderated by experienced Turquoise research analysts. These group sessions consisted of both users and non-users, and provided the context for discussing how libraries are meeting the needs of the community and how the library service may need to adapt to meet future generational needs.
Following a member segmentation study, we identified three segments based on attitudes: devoted members (highly engaged), core members (use main services), and selective members (ad-hoc use of certain services). The vast majority of members were highly satisfied with the library and its services. Libraries were seen as extremely important by three quarters of members and also by the vast majority of non-members. Turquoise were able to provide specific recommendations around future services to offer, specific events and new offerings that would both boost current engagement and maintain libraries relevance to future generations. We were also able to provide insights and recommendations in relation to operating hours, library access, advertising, awareness and communication style.