In 2012, the Library Research Service (LRS) adminstered a patron satisfaction and outcome survey for the Colorado Talking Book Library (CTBL). This was the fifth time that this survey has been administered since 2004. The survey was designed to assist CTBL in its ongoing efforts to evaluate its services, and the results indicate that an overwhelming majority of patrons are very pleased with the services CTBL provides. Nearly all respondents (99%) rated their overall satisfaction with CTBL as excellent or good, which is consistent with prior years (see Chart 1).
The Colorado Talking Book Library (CTBL) provides free library services to more than 6,000 patrons who, because of physical, visual, or learning disabilities, are unable to read standard print material.CTBL’s collection consists of 58,000 talking books, 7,000 digital titles, 6,000 titles in Braille, 19,000 titles in large print, and about 300 descriptive videos.CTBL is part of the Colorado State Library, a division of the Colorado Department of Education, and is affiliated with the Library of Congress, National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS).
Features of CTBL Service
In addition to rating their overall satisfaction with CTBL, respondents were asked to rate their satisfaction with selected components of CTBL’s services. Three of these components were rated as excellent or good by at least 98 percent of the respondents: “courtesy of library staff,” “completeness and condition of books received,” and “speed with which they receive books” (see Chart 2).
Although still at very high levels, the 2 lowest rated components of service were “the Colorado Talking Book Library newsletter” (81% excellent or good ratings) and “the book titles we select for you” (65% excellent or good ratings).
- Books may be ordered via mail, email, phone, fax, or online.
- The library loans playback machines free of charge to patrons.
- Patrons can request specific titles or books can be selected for them based on their reading interests.
Outcomes of CTBL Use
Over the years, reading for pleasure continues to be the most frequently valued outcome of CTBL service, selected by more than 4 out of 5 (85%) respondents in 2012 (see Chart 3). Several survey respondents’ comments reflected this as they frequently mentioned how CTBL’s services allowed them to continue enjoying reading despite challenges reading standard print books. The second most popular outcome, chosen by a bit more than one-third of respondents (38%), was “learned more about a personal interest using CTBL services.” Respondents were able to include additional information via an “Other” option, which 15 percent of respondents selected. Remarks included appreciation for materials delivery, book club availability, and services to dyslexic and low vision children and students.
Patron Satisfaction Consistent Over the Years
Overall, the satisfaction level of CTBL patrons has held fairly steady over the years (see Chart 4). The percentage of patrons who have rated CTBL services as “excellent” has fluctuated somewhat between a high of 85 percent in 2006 and just below 80 percent in 2004, 2008, and 2012. There has been a similar fluctuation of about 5 percent in “good” ratings over the 5 surveys. At no time have more than 2 percent of patrons rated overall satisfaction with CTBL as “fair” or “poor.”
The majority of CTBL patrons responding to the survey indicated that they are very satisfied with the services provided. Nearly all respondents gave high ratings for their overall satisfaction with CTBL and individual service components. In addition to the high ratings, comments left by survey respondents provide insight into the important services CTBL provides to its patrons. Thanks to CTBL, its patrons are able to read for pleasure, learn about personal interests, and stay connected to their communities.