The Danes love their library!

This is the conclusion in the most extensive Danish user and benchmark survey so far concerning the public library.

The Agency for Culture and Palaces in Denmark has recently completed the third user and benchmark survey of the public library field. Previous surveys were carried out in 2011 and 2013. The Agency for Culture and Palaces has facilitated this survey in collaboration with Regional libraries, as well as the participating libraries.

The questionnaire for the survey was formulated back in 2010 and has been extended in the present survey to include a new focus on citizen service in the local authorities and the local citizen service offers. One of the objectives of the survey is to provide the libraries with a development tool and consequently, library staff are participating in the process. Another aim is to accommodate an ever-increasing focus on the measuring of the libraries’ activities, by documenting the users’ perception, use of and satisfaction with the libraries.

Future perspectives

The results of the survey are assessed nationally and a national report has been produced as well as 83 local reports. Overall the user survey provides a picture of the libraries anno 2016. Data material has been prepared for each individual municipality, which the libraries can access online and extract the data necessary for their particular library. The local material means that the libraries can measure the effects of their initiatives, compare with earlier results and with other libraries.

The local data material is both documentation and a tool for the libraries to analyse needs, target and develop focus areas, which all contribute towards creating the best library – in the future, too.

Results from the 2016 survey
  • Comprehensive satisfaction of 88,3%
  • Recommendation willingness (NPS) of 76%. The Danes are very happy with their library and this is an exceptional result.
  • Two out of three have used a self-service library, more than 50% say that selfservice libraries have made them use the library more.
  • Library staff are very highly regarded, 85% say that the library’s staff are both visible and responsive.
Nobody rest on their laurels!

There is no doubt that the survey is a useful tool in the development of the individual library, and there is therefore widespread satisfaction with the conducted surveys. After publication of the survey, the public libraries have started processing the results in earnest and converting them into development.

With spread satisfaction with the conducted surveys, time has come for an evaluation of the process itself, of the objective and the survey’s design.

Amongst other things, in relation to the original questionnaire from 2010, which in a number of areas has proved to be outdated.

Delegate Agency for Culture and Palaces
The survey
The public libraries’ user and benchmark survey was completed in 2016 with 53,405 respondents. The collection of data was done over a period of one month, the libraries arranged for contact to the users and an external market research firm (Wilke) handled data collection and data processing.
Recommendation willingness/NSP
Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a management tool that can be used to estimate the loyalty of the customer. Response to the question: How likely is it that you would recommend your library to others? The answer is given on a scale from 0 (not at all likely) to 10 (extremely likely). The scale of the question is divided into Detractors (0-6), Passives (7-8) and Promoters (9-10) You calculate NPS by taking promoters in percent and subtract detractors in percent. The result can vary between minus 100 and 100. A score of 0 is normally considered good and above 50 is excellent.