The Orange County Library System (OCLS) serves 1.2 million residents of the library district. The system is comprised of 16 locations - the Orlando Public Library and 15 branch locations. Although the library system has an extensive collection and offers very current technology, classes and other products and services, library card sign-ups and visitation were declining. Additionally, classes that were offered get great reviews; however, had low attendance.
The OCLS was looking to develop a new strategic marketing plan that would increase library card registrations and build a viable base of users for the future.
Using a Customer Centric approach Mindspot conducted an ethnographic study. Multiple locations were selected and Library Patrons were observed and In-depth interviews were completed in English and Spanish. Online Focus Groups with those Library Visitors and Non-Library Visitors were conducted to gain a better understanding of how the library is viewed and to consider possible ideas for the future.
A formal survey instrument was developed to statistically analyze consumer behaviors, and measure levels of awareness and interest for various services. This survey was deployed in both English and Spanish. The process was iterative and the Team at Mindspot worked with the Management Team at the Library to disseminate and share the research with Library personnel.
The team at Mindspot have continued the relationship, working with the OCLS every year providing insights, and challenging previously held patterns and behaviors. We recommended year-over-year suggestions based on insights and one of the recommendations was becoming a service organization that was friendly and approachable. Mindspot Research partnered with them to bring in a service approach that built a service framework that trained their entire staff and established an on-boarding program for new employees. We worked with a multi-function, multi-level team at the Orange County Library in a workshop format to facilitate their strategic planning process for the next 5 years. This planning began in 2017.
In 2018 the OCLS was awarded “The National Medal for Museum and Library Services” which is the nation’s highest honor conferred on museums and libraries for service to the community. The OCLS overall usage has increased 6% compared to 2017, event/class attendance was up 12% and new library card registrations were up 125%.