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12 Bytes of Beyond Two Steppin’: Eleventh Byte – Online Survey Tools

2011 July 15

To continue to remind you of our amazing (free!) self-paced online training program, Beyond Two Steppin’: Additional Web Technology Training for Texas Librarians, we are writing a series of 12 blog posts highlighting some of the great ideas and tools included in the program. We’ll publish one post per week and we’ll be truly surprised if our byte-sized portions of Beyond Two Steppin’ don’t make you drop everything you’re doing and devour the whole thing!

Our eleventh byte — Online survey tools

In our eleventh Beyond Two Steppin’ dance move, we delve into online survey tools. I know, I know — online surveys aren’t nearly as sexy as online meeting tools and they are definitely not as flashy as some of the new online presentation tools but one might argue that they are just as or perhaps even more important than those topics. Why? Because online survey tools allow you to gather valuable feedback from your community, as well as provide you with hard, tangible data that you can use when advocating for your library.

This little byte of Beyond Two Steppin’ isn’t going to focus on a particular tool, as we have for most of our program bytes. 🙂 If you’d like to read about a few of the latest tools, you can find some great information about that in our eleventh Beyond Two Steppin’ method. Instead, I’d like to use this byte to encourage you to re-examine your library’s current customer satisfaction survey if it’s been awhile since you’ve looked at it OR, if you don’t currently have one, I’d like to encourage you to create one and link to it from the home page of your library’s website.

A few customer satisfaction surveys I’d like to include here as examples (and perhaps, inspiration) are:

  • The Dallas Public Library’s Customer Satisfaction Survey (and, to see how they link to their survey from their home page, it’s listed in the third column along the bottom) — of special note in this survey is that all of their questions appear in both English and Spanish! This is a short ten question survey with all of the questions visible on one page — this certainly encourages completion since library users can see that it will not take much of their time to respond.  
  • The San Antonio Public Library’s Customer Satisfaction Survey (on their home page, their survey is linked from the big purple button labelled “Let Us Know What You Think”) — I love how prominently their survey is featured on their page, and the phrase they chose is very friendly and inviting.  This survey is only 14 questions long. It’s another great model if you’d like to see a good focused survey.

Both of these surveys were created with Surveymonkey, one of the tools mentioned in our eleventh Beyond Two Steppin’ method, but they could have easily been created using a myriad of the online survey tools available today. And although I’m not delving into specifics about particular tools available, I do want to point out that if you haven’t kept up with what is available in this arena, you’ll be surprised to learn about their affordability (many even have basic plans that are free of charge) and their ease of use (no programming skills required). In addition, most of these new tools are hosted in the cloud, meaning no additional server load/storage for you, other than the survey data that you export and save locally.  

Does your library have a customer satisfaction survey in place that you’d like to share? Or are there some other great ones out there that you’d like to highlight? Please share in the comments section.

That’s our eleventh byte of Beyond Two Steppin’! We’ll see you next week with our twelfth and final one!

Beyond Two Steppin’ : Additional Web Technology Training for Texas Librarians

Learn (or review) these advanced dance moves:

  • customizable Internet portal pages
  • online geography and travel tools
  • employment 2.0
  • social cataloging and libraries
  • eBooks, eReaders and libraries
  • next gen presentation tools
  • capture your computer screen
  • tell a (digital) story
  • online meeting tools
  • online survey tools

This free online program is:

  • self-paced – start and complete anytime before August 31, 2011
  • worth 12 CE credits – and is SBEC eligible for school librarians
  • a fantastic staff development opportunity – have your staff complete this together, use it for staff in-service days, use it as a springboard for further learning – the possibilities are endless!

To participate:

Questions? Please contact:

Naomi DiTullio, Distance Learning Consultant
Library Development Division
Texas State Library and Archives Commission
Phone: 1-800-252-9386 (Texas only) or 512-936-2586

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