Ontario Public Libraries 2018-2020 Technology Needs Forecast based on 2017 provincial survey.
The Ministry has produced an additional series of reports based on the latest Ontario
Public Library Statistics. FOPL has done subsequent analysis on several of them both
to call attention to this effort and to do at least a preliminary analyze the results. These
reports are based on open-ended text responses to questions on the annual
questionnaire and it is hoped that Ontario librarians will be encouraged to contribute
their observations. The reader will see there is a great deal of information in this and
in the other reports.
What we have here is a first look at summarizing the “Public Library and First Nation
Public Library Technology Needs in next two years from 2017 Annual Survey” which
was published in a spreadsheet. Our analysis takes this spreadsheet and adds to it by
counting reported “technology needs” by the libraries. The totals by those categories
(“Computers,” “IT Infrastructure,” etc.) are at the top of those categories on the first
page in red.
There are other possible categories but we stopped at this point for now to consider
what we have done so far. It is a tricky kind of analysis. There are ambiguities, for
instance, different terms are used for the same thing and in some cases the same terms
appear to be used for different things so interpretation of the sometimes cryptic
responses adds to the complexity. Consider Hotspots, for instance. There appear to be
libraries purchasing Hotspots for use in the library to enhance connectivity and others
appear to be purchasing these devices for circulation…maybe. Reducing ambiguities is
something to consider for next year’s collection.
Suggestions welcome for other categories to analyze and please report errors.