Residents of Espoonlahti were keen to take a stand on the future of the libraries in the area
The library services of Espoonlahti are not on equal level with the other greater areas of Espoo. The Culture Committee discussed this situation already twice in 2013. During the spring of 2014 the decision was postponed to autumn, and a meeting to be held at 21st of October. It was also agreed that the opinions of the residents of Espoonlahti would be thoroughly surveyed before this meeting.
Getting the residents involved with residents’ meetings and surveys
In the early autumn altogether 12 residents’ meetings were held at different parts of Espoonlahti - both in libraries as well as in the Shopping Centre Lippulaiva and shopping malls. The objective was to offer everyone a chance to participate in in-depth discussions about library matters. The different possibilities to assert one’s opinion were reported through the internet as well as through a direct marketing campaign covering the whole area.
The answering to the online questionnaire was possible both at home and at the residents’ meetings. This questionnaire collected opinions about the structure of the library network of Espoonlahti, the facilities, the services and the collections. Children had their own questionnaire.
Who were the respondents?
There were altogether 1651 respondents, of which 67 % were women and 31 % were men. 89 % of the respondents were from the Greater Espoonlahti area. 22 % of the respondents gave Kivenlahti as their place of residence, and 29 % Soukka. 38 % of the respondents lived elsewhere inside the Espoonlahti area. The percentage of those living in Soukka was distinctly larger than its population share, whereas the population share of those living in other parts of Espoonlahti was underrepresented. The children’s questionnaire produced 147 answers. The girls’ portion of the respondents was 67 % and the boys’ was 33 %. The majority of the respondents were 7-12-year-olds, the largest group being the 9-12-year-olds, whose share was 47 %.
Results of the questionnaire
The opinions of the residents were divided very evenly to those who support the current facilities (51,4 %) and those who support one larger library with more diverse services (48,6). The people living close by the current libraries wanted to preserve these. The people living in other parts of Espoonlahti desired a new library situated in a location that would ease their everyday life.
The grown-ups considered it important that the library would be open during weekday evenings and weekends. Personal service was valued. Presentations of different devices and eMaterials were desired. The library facilities should be unobstructed, clean, and with a working air conditioning. It was agreed that young people need their own space. Children thought it was important that the library was cosy, and that they are allowed to play, read or just hang out there - unlike in school or with hobbies. It was hoped that new games would be in library as soon as they are released.
The Director of the Library Services, Jaana Tyrni, phone 050 330 1762, firstname.lastname@example.org