Working in the public library we are constantly thinking of our target audience. Whether we are purchasing books for our collection or budgeting for programs and events, it’s on our mind and helps to guide a lot of the decisions that we make. Our aim is daunting as we try to please our whole community of 18,000+. With the limited budget that public libraries are faced with, it can be difficult to decide how to spend the funds. We really need to research our target audience to figure out what services need to be provided.
We have the advantage of being able to look at the Census provided by Statistics Canada to see who is living in our community. There are a lot of senior retirees, both male and female, that live in our community and frequent our library. After receiving feedback through customer survey we created and distributed, we realized that free or inexpensive outings for seniors were lacking and have since starting providing computer workshops, day trips to museums and literary events with seniors in mind.
Although it is important to know who is already invested in the library and make sure we are providing them valuable services, it is as important to figure out who isn’t coming. We can then try to figure out why they are not interested in the library and try to create programs or events that will engage them. We currently have that issue with the teens in our area. They are not using our services as much as we’ve seen in other small towns. We’ve tried a few programs geared towards them that unfortunately flopped. Our next move will be reaching out to them through social media or through the school system to get feedback on what they are looking for and need.