The National Library of Laos (NLL) recently conducted a survey for residents of and visitors to Laos. The goal of the survey was to identify which services were considered to be most relevant to a national library in the 21st century. It was designed to include a range of services which are not currently available to NLL users so that resources could be allocated for those services as part of the move to the new library building in 2016.
The results of the survey were very pleasing as they confirmed the Library’s objectives to improve public access to collections and services, especially via the creation of a “Digital Library”; identify the importance of staff professional learning and development opportunities to increase staff skills, knowledge and expertise; and to raise awareness of the importance and benefits of reading to primary school aged children in Vientiane province as well as increase their access to reading resources via mobile library outreach services.
The results found that the large majority of those surveyed recognised that libraries offer a range of important services including as a place to user computers and access information via the internet as well as playing a vital role in the promotion of reading for children.
There was a strong recognition by the respondents of the importance of the NLL in preserving and reflecting Lao’s cultural heritage as well as the importance for the Library staff to provide high quality services to users.