Libraries and customer services review


Case study: Research

Client: Herefordshire Council
Date: 2016
Work: Collect and analyse new data

Data Orchard was commissioned by Herefordshire Council to independently research preferences and patterns of use of libraries and customer service centres across the county. To understand more about why some people don't use libraries and customer service centres, and what services might encourage them to do so; to explore all possible options and impact on any changes to libraries and customer services centres.

Over 2,200 people responded and we used a variety of techniques to ensure a broad range of people could give their views, from regular library users to lapsed or non-users - online, paper and face to face interviews in a range of locations in the county.

The results of the consultation were available in time for elected councillors to make informed decisions about the future of libraries, and were made publicly available.

The work conducted by Data Orchard was incredibly important in providing the council with a range of evidence to make decisions on the future use and direction of customer services and libraries. The information was an essential component of the needs and equalities assessment to understand current and future use of services.The appeal of Data Orchard is that they worked with the council to really understand what was needed in the first place, but also bring a strong element of independence.They were able to bring a range of skills and experience to the research based on creating the consultation, focus groups and desk research - of good quality and responsive to our needs.
— Natalia Silver, Assistant Director for Communities at Herefordshire Council