Information Needs Survey

This survey was distributed at the first ever US Social Forum in Atlanta.


Help Librarians Help You!

Progressive Librarians Guild & Radical Reference

Return completed survey to Library Box at the Media Center check-in
located inside the Civic Center

What is your age?
10-15____ 26-30____ 46-55____
16-20____ 31-35____ 56-65____
21-25____ 36-45____ 65- ____

Where are you from (town and country)?

What is/are your area(s) of activism?

How long have you been an activist?

Was there anything you read (or had read to you) at any time in your life that inspired your activism? Yes____ No____

If so, what was it?

How do you keep informed about the issues that concern you?

If someone wanted to become informed about the area you are most active in, what source/s of information would you recommend?

When you need information about something, you go to... (write “A” for always, “F” for frequently, “S” for sometimes, and “N” for never)

____a friend, family member or other knowledgeable person
____print materials (books, directories, magazines, etc.)
____the Internet - freely available sites and resources
____the Internet - periodical databases, online encyclopedias, and
other fee-based resources accessible through public or academic
____other ___________________________________

Areas of information you can't easily find or have struggled with, by any method, include... (check all that apply)

____news and current events
____local information about my community (organizations, activities, etc.)
____facts about my community (demographics, government information, etc.)
____financial figures (government budgets, campaign contributions, etc.)
____other ___________________________________

Do you use a library? Yes____ No____
Do you use your library for anything related to your activist work?

If yes, in what manner?

If no, why don’t you?
____the library does not have needed materials
____the library has limited hours
____the library is in an inconvenient location
____the library and its staff are not welcoming
____other, please describe briefly

What is the most important service your library provides for you?

If you could make one improvement to your library, what would it be?

Have you ever used an activist library or archive? (eg. Zine library, GLBT archive, union library, infoshop) Yes____ No____

If yes, please specify:

Have you ever attended or held a meeting related to your activist work at a library?
Yes____ No____

If yes, please specify:

These are workshops Radical Reference has conducted in the past in various cities. If one of these were offered in your area, would you attend? (check all that apply)
____Research Like a Librarian
____Fact-Up: Fact-Checking & FOIA [Freedom of Information Act] Requests
____Free Information! Free Space! Using Your Public Library
____Wouldn't You Like to Be a Blogger, Too?
____Beyond Googling It: News and Government Information "Web 2.0" Style

Can you suggest any other skills that would help you find and use information in the campaigns you are active in?

The resource guides on the Radical Reference website include topics like Tools for Statistics; Alternative Radio and Audio Resources; Bicycling Resources; The Green Scare; and Anti-Racism for Activists: a Bibliography. What are some other topics you'd find useful in an online guide written by librarians?

Any other comments or suggestions for us?

Thank you so much for your time. Would you be interested in receiving a copy of the results of our survey? If so, please provide your mailing and/or e-mail address below.