No: Network Bulletin No. 03-31
Date: August 22, 2003
Index term: Upcoming Patron Survey
In planning its transition to digital talking books, NLS faces many decisions about hardware
design, distribution medium, and distribution methods. Inevitably, NLS must consider practical
matters such as cost, durability, and availability of appropriate technology. The equipment and
delivery systems, however, also must be well-suited to the people who will use them. To make
good decisions, NLS needs more information about current patron characteristics.
During the next few months, NLS will conduct a survey of a randomly-selected group of patrons.
The survey will include questions about playback equipment familiarity, any difficulty in
learning to operate and using playback equipment, use of other technology, and basic
demographic characteristics. NLS has signed a contract with Abacus Technology Corporation to
carry out this effort.
The random sample will be drawn from individuals registered with CMLS. Because the survey
will be conducted by telephone, it will be necessary for NLS to contact each library to obtain the
telephone number for selected patrons. In areas where this may pose problems, NLS will work
with libraries individually to develop an alternative method. NLS will contact libraries during
September and early October.
Prior to the main survey, the contractor will conduct a pre-test during early October. The main
survey will take place over a four-week period beginning in mid-October. A pre-survey letter
will be sent to all potential survey participants in large print or braille (depending on the
individual's primary reading medium) at least one week before the pre-test. A copy of this letter
will be sent to libraries prior to its distribution. Not everyone who receives a letter will be
surveyed. NLS will receive the final report of survey results in mid-December.
Thanks in advance for your help in ensuring that as many respondents as possible participate in
this important survey.
For further information, contact:
Consumer Relations Officer
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