Other services operated by the City of Hamilton can be forgiven for envying the Hamilton Public Library which just concluded a customer satisfaction survey. In most categories surveyed the library scored in the 90 percent ranges in terms of customer staisfaction. 97.9 percent said Libraries are important to the communities they serve, and survey respondents agreed highly with most of the statements about the value of Libraries in general. Things like Supporting literacy, lifelong learning, trustworthy source of information were statements that all scored in the 90 percent agree category. They were less positive about the important role Libraries play in Truth and Reconciliation 81.8 percent. Most people did agree that they really like using Libraries in Hamilton (93.4%), that HPL should be a resource to support diverse opinions (89.1%) and a source for educating Hamiltonians about Indigenous cultures and histories (85.9%).
In terms of what people use the library for—somewhat surprisingly, given the explosion of technology, those who contact the library online are still using it to reserve or renew books. Three quarters of respondents like the free Wi-Fi. The digital local history and archive section was used by two-thirds of respondents.
In terms of improvements that the Library could make, the most suggestions centered around wait times for the latest books and movies. Respondents appeared to not want to see the library discard older books. “Keep the older books even though they’re old”. They do want to see HPL purchase newer resources and over ten percent said that in general HPL needs to “expand our collections” and provide “greater access to audiobooks” or “acquire more eBooks” or get “more copies of hot books”.
A large number of respondents simply appreciated the library as a quiet place to do homework and other quiet pursuits.
Nearly 5,000 individuals participated in the self-selected survey. The respondents in the vicinity of the Central Library were most heavily represented in the survey. Rural areas were more thinly represented.