Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Not so ACE

Update: 10/Oct/2012

I replied to ACE with further questions:

1. What steps have been taken to let people know about the existence of the survey?

2. Did you let the library authorities know and ask them to inform their library users who will be unaware of its existence otherwise?

And got this response in return:

"We are directing people to the survey from our own website with a link from the scrolling banner on the front page. We have also promoted it via twitter using the hashtag #ACElibraries and by targeting specific groups to spread the word through @mentions.

We have also contacted a range of organisations requesting they share the survey with the public via their networks and newsletters, including organisations representing parents, older people, disabled people, educators, young people in higher or further education, book and art groups, social, cultural, ethnic and faith groups and people and groups campaigning for local government services, for example post offices. In addition, we have contacted library member groups and library service contacts asking them to promote the survey to the public.

If you have any further questions please do get in touch."

I have asked directly if they had sent this information to my County Council, Oxfordshire and I have also asked Oxfordshire County Councils library service if they know anything about it. I have double checked with my local library and a library in another part of the county and neither had any idea about this survey. I will update again when I get responses. I'm cross because someone isn't doing their job properly and the residents of Oxfordshire are being denied their right to join the political process.

--------Original post---------

I'm still not sure what parts of the public library service ACE (Arts Council England) are responsible for but the other week they put out a survey entitled "Envisioning the library of the future" I don't know much about the company that created the survey but the design was obviously created from a earlier survey "what do you want from survey websites in the early 90s" to see what I mean have a look here:

I only hope ACE got this at a very cheap price. I was amazed that ACE are only doing a online survey considering the demographic of library users, I myself only found out about it via twitter, there was nothing in our library (as far as I can see) about this and you can count the twitter users in our local library on one finger. So obviously I stuck in a email to ACE to have a moan and here is the response:

"Dear Trevor,

Thanks for getting in touch.

There is not an offline version of the survey but with public access computers in libraries, library staff will be able help people to get online and complete the survey.

We are trying to give as many people as possible an opportunity to take part in the research, so as well as the online survey, we have also run face-to-face workshops with members of the public in various parts of the country. This is so that we have a wide range of people contributing to our discussion and developing ideas. We recruited participants for these workshops so that they broadly represented the general population.

The online survey is designed to open up our consultation to a wider number of people than we could reach through the workshops alone – it is an efficient and cost-effective way of reaching a large number of people.

If you have any further queries please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Kind regards,"

I confess to knowing nothing about the workshops either, doing a google news search on the title of the survey only returns one hit:

So there is hardly a massive publicity drive to get people filling this thing in. Why are they not even trying to promote this survey to get a full range of views? Obvious answer is that its just another box ticking exercise to say they have consulted in the piss poor excuse for democracy we have in this country. Sigh

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