FSD2145 Finnish Local Government 2004: Libraries 1996
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- Mäkelä, Pertti (University of Vaasa. Faculty of Social Sciences)
evaluation, information/library resources, library facilities, library services, local government services, public libraries, public services
The survey focused on public libraries in Finnish municipalities, concentrating on their management, services and development. Other similar surveys were carried out in 1999 and 2002.
First, the respondents were asked a number of questions relating to staff qualifications and numbers, library facilities, and expenditure. Services were investigated with detailed questions about opening hours, types of services on offer, library use, stock, acquisitions and loans, loan periods, fines and charges, and whether there were other services (e.g. a museum, health centre, banks) in the immediate vicinity of the library. Use of and satisfaction with contracted-out services were surveyed.
One theme covered influence and decision-making. The respondents were asked which issues they themselves could decide in the role of the person in charge. They also assessed how much influence library users, staff, the municipal council, local businesses, etc. have on the decision-making concerning library matters. One set of questions pertained to members of the municipal committee responsible for library matters, asking about their level of activity, knowledge of libraries, etc. Use of performance measures in evaluation was charted, as well as respondent opinion on whether certain factors promoted or hindered the use of these performance indicators. The respondents were also asked how useful the indicators would be in operational planning, reallocation of resources, etc.
One topic pertained to developmental policy. The respondents assessed the state of services in their library in terms of accessibility, sufficiency of stock, premises, etc. They were asked what kind of changes had been implemented in the services, organisation, financing, etc. in the past four years, and what areas in their library they thought were in need of increased resources. They were also asked whether certain areas for development (e.g. image promotion and marketing, increasing the influence of users or staff, introducing new services, increasing staff numbers, contracting out services) would be important for the library in the coming years. An additional questionnaire was used to collect basic information from small service units like mobile libraries and institution libraries.
Background variables included library type, and the respondent's gender, mother tongue, year of birth, job title or position, education, previous work experience, responsibility areas at work, and elected positions of trust.
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