This technical report summarises the methodological approach for the 2010 programme of research conducted by Ipsos MORI and Shared Intelligence on behalf of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA), This programme examined public attitudes to, and experiences of, public libraries, using a range of methodologies to collate existing data and to resolve gaps where little evidence previously existed. This fuller picture aims to be of value in shaping the public library service more closely to the needs of users and potential users in the years ahead.
The main purpose of the research was to understand what users and non-users of public libraries want from the service. Although there were detailed data on the level and frequency of public library use across the population, there was less information on how people regard the quality of service, and on their reasons for using or not using public libraries.
This report informs the main report ‘What do the public want from libraries’.
If the library service is to retain existing users and encourage new visitors, it is vital to understand the expectations and experiences of the public, irrespective of whether people currently use public libraries or not.