Area libraries conducting online impact survey

Submitted Article
Central Minnesota library users are being given an opportunity to help shape the future of how library technology will affect their lives and their community.
Great River Regional Library (GRRL) will conduct an online technology impact survey during April to find out how patrons use the library’s computers and Internet connection, and how this service has made a positive impact on their lives. 
“The survey will help us to understand how patrons use the library’s technology, and that information will help us to improve our technology services in ways that are valuable to the community,” said Karen Pundsack, the library’s associate director of patron services.
The survey can be accessed April 1 through April 30 from library computers or from griver.org, the library website. Individuals must be 14 or older to take the survey. It is anonymous, available in English and Spanish, and takes 10-15 minutes to complete. It includes general questions about how patrons use the library website and services, as well as specific questions to determine how a patron is using library computers for educational purposes, to access government services, to make social connections, etc., and questions that allow the surveyors to complete a demographic analysis of results. 
The impact survey is the result of a research initiative from the University of Washington with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It is coordinated by the University of Washington Information School, which in 2009 conducted the first large-scale investigation of the ways U.S. library patrons use computers and the Internet at public libraries. That study provided evidence that access to the Internet at U.S. public libraries has a profound and measurable impact on individuals and communities. 
For more information about the Impact Survey, visit http://impactsurvey. org.
Great River Regional Library (GRRL) provides library services at 32 public libraries in Benton, Morrison, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd and Wright Counties. It provides Central Minnesota residents with nearly 1 million books, CDs and DVDs, 250 public computers, programming and information services.

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