Young people are more satisfied with Merton Libraries’ range of books, services and opening hours than ever before, according to the most recent Young People’s Library Survey.
Focussing on services for young people and children aged 16 and under, the survey aimed to find out how users rate their local library and gave them the opportunity to give their opinion on a range of library services including opening hours, customer services, book stock and events. Parents gave feedback for children aged 0-7 years.
Responses from just under 3,000 library users show that 97% of young people who took the survey rate Merton library services as very good or excellent, an increase of 9% from the previous survey in 2010. Young library users are also happier with the customer service they receive at Merton Libraries with, again, 97% of respondents rating the standard of customer care as very good or excellent.
The survey showed that Merton’s libraries continue to play a key role in encouraging reading for pleasure with 94% of parents with children aged seven and under saying the library had been very or extremely helpful in enabling their children to enjoy a wide choice of books. Ninety-five percent of children aged between 7 and 11 years old said that libraries had helped them get better at reading.
This was the first time that young library users have been surveyed since the council increased opening hours in 2011 and 92% surveyed rated opening hours as very good or excellent, a 14% increase since the previous survey. The survey took place in October 2013 and before the council further extended opening hours in January 2014.
Cabinet member for community and culture, Councillor Nick Draper, said: “Young people and children are amongst the most dedicated of our library users and it’s fantastic to see that they are so happy with what we have to offer. Reading is a great and life-long hobby and I’m really pleased with the level of enthusiasm the young people of Merton have for our libraries. This comes down to the hard work of our staff who are ably supported by an army of volunteers in meeting the needs of library users in the borough. Our libraries are flourishing and these results demonstrate the impact of innovative projects we are delivering such as signing every school child in Merton up as a library member.”
To find out about the range of events and services provided by Merton Libraries, visit www.merton.gov.uk/libraries.