Cook Memorial Public Library District residents will be surveyed about their library habits and their opinions of the district's facilities this month.
The survey results will be used to develop a three-year plan for the collections, space, services and programs at the Cook Park Library in Libertyville and the Aspen Drive Library in Vernon Hills, officials said.
"We absolutely want the public's input," board President Bonnie Quirke said. "It's essential."
The district's last strategic plan was developed in 1996, Quirke said. Reading habits, technology and library services have changed dramatically since then.
Research became a computer-based exercise, e-books became popular and libraries became venues for public gatherings and not just places to check out books, just to name a few changes.
"It's so outdated," Quirke said of the old plan.
The survey will run Sept. 8-28. It will be available online at cooklibsurvey.org and also on paper at both libraries.
Topics will cover subjects including:
• How and why people use the libraries.
• Their satisfaction with the collections and services.
• Their opinion of the libraries' implementation of technology.
"Conducting a broad community survey is a reliable way for the library to make sure the needs of patrons are met," library communications coordinator Rebecca Ferguson said in an email. "If we learn that we're falling short in some areas, we have an opportunity to address that."
The survey should take about 10 minutes to complete.
District residents who are 18 or older are eligible to take the survey. They do not have to be a library patron or a cardholder to participate.
Cardholders who are at least 18 years old and whose email addresses are on file with the district will receive email invitations to participate.
The survey will be conducted by Library Survey Consultants, a division of a Highland Park marketing and research firm called Donna E. Fletcher Consulting.
The survey will cost the district about $19,000. It was commissioned in July.
The district serves about 60,000 residents in Libertyville, Vernon Hills, Green Oaks, Mettawa, Indian Creek, Mundelein, Lake Forest and neighboring unincorporated areas.
Officials hope as much as 10 percent of the district's population completes the survey.
For more information, call (847) 362-2330 or visit cooklib.org.