Drum roll, please……the 2011-12 Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study (PLFTAS) survey is now live and ready for your valuable input. Last year, the survey had a record-topping 86.5% response rate, with participation from over 8,400 urban, suburban, and rural libraries in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
We thank you for your participation in the past and hope that you will continue to participate in this important survey. The high response rate provides the greatest impact for advocacy efforts at the local, state, and national levels.
The PLFTAS is the largest and longest-running (since 1994) study of public library Internet connectivity. As technology has changed since the beginning of the study, so has the survey evolved to capture the most current snapshot of the technology resources brokered by our libraries and the funding that enables free public access to these resources. With feedback from libraries and the PLFTAS Advisory Committee, this year’s survey has been updated and streamlined, most significantly in the funding section.
Why is your participation so important? Data from the study will help your library identify the impacts of the your library’s public computer and Internet access on the community, and support efforts to inform and educate stakeholders – policymakers, foundations, elected officials, trustees, and the media – about the value of libraries and issues related to sustaining public library technology services. To help with messaging and advocacy, we’ve developed PR templates, issue briefs and state summaries that provide succinct messages for use on behalf of libraries.
In addition to the launch of the PLFTAS survey, what other monumental events have taken place on September 6 (per Wikipedia)? In 1492, Columbus left the Canary Islands for his first crossing of the Atlantic Ocean. In 1522, the only surviving ship of Magellan’s expedition returned to Spain, becoming the first ship to circumnavigate the world. And in 1995, Cal Ripken Jr. played in his 2,131st consecutive game, breaking a record that stood for 56 years. Let’s be like Cal and break another record with a 90% response rate for the 2011-2012 survey! Libraries need all the muscle they can gather to continue to circle the bases with their advocacy messages.