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MRL To Do Computer Impact Survey

3/6/2014
The Massanutten Regional Library system will be conducting an on-line survey March 17-April 6 to assess how its patrons use library computers and Internet connection and how this service has made a positive impact on lives. 
 
This information will assist the Massanutten Regional Library system in improving its technology services and communicate the value of providing free access to computers and the Internet within the community.  The Impact Survey, complete with 69 multiple choice questions, is anonymous and available in English and Spanish.  The survey can be conducted within the library or at home and takes
10-15 minutes to complete.  Printed versions of the survey will also be available at all seven libraries for those patrons who prefer to fill out paper forms.
 
“We are excited about having some statistical evidence to support many of the stories our patrons tell us about the importance of computer access at Massanutten Regional Library,” says Susan Versen, Head Reference Librarian. 
 
The Impact Survey collects data across the following areas:  general use of library and online resources, education, employment, entrepreneurship, health and wellness, eGovernment, civic engagement, eCommerce, and social inclusion.
 
Sample questions involve number of library patrons dependent upon library computers for internet access, personal access to computer and the Internet, dependency of library computers to job search and apply for jobs or send resumes to perspective employers. 
 
The Impact Survey is the result of a successful research initiative from the University of Washington with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  In 2009, the University of Washington Information School conducted Opportunity for All:  How the American Public Benefits from Internet Access at U.S. Libraries, which was the first large-scale investigation of the ways U.S. library patrons use computers and the Internet at public libraries, why they use it, and how it impacts their lives.  The study included a national online survey that yielded over 45,000 responses and four library case studies.  It also piloted a local library survey for individual communities.
 
Massanutten Regional Library patrons will access the online survey through buttons on the public access computer workstations at all of its seven library locations and the library website www.mrlib.org, or they can pick up print versions at any MRL branch location.
 
While the survey is anonymous, if patrons supply basic contact information, this contact information will be placed in a drawing in which one lucky winner will receive a gift certificate from the MRL Bookstore. 

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