Friends Membership Survey Results


The Friends’ Committee carried out a survey of members’ interests and future wishes in late autumn 2015, in order to assist with setting the future direction for the Friends. The Committee is very grateful to those Friends who replied: the response rate was 16%, which is about the current norm for survey questionnaires. Respondents were fairly equally divided between those resident in the Lothians (57%) and those resident elsewhere (42%).

The survey responses showed that:

  • The strongest reasons for joining the Friends were to help Edinburgh University Library, because of an interest in libraries, and to help purchase items for the Library’s collections.
  • Members most enjoyed receiving The Piper newsletter and knowing that they were helping to build the Library’s collections.
  • Although only recently introduced, the ability for Friends to borrow books from the Library also attracted favourable comment.
  • In terms of the timing of Friends’ events, there was a strong preference for afternoon events; and the most popular events were talks and lectures, followed by exhibition openings and visits to Edinburgh libraries.
  • Friends identified more talks by visiting scholars as their top choice for future events programmes, followed by more talks by University of Edinburgh staff.
  • In terms of what Friends would like to see more of in future issues of The Piper, the top choice was news about the Library.

The Committee, and its membership group, have considered the results of the survey, and have agreed to implement its main recommendations. Events will normally be arranged for afternoons; visiting scholars will be invited to give talks through co-operation with the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH); more talks by Edinburgh University staff will be included; a section of news about the Library will be added to The Piper; annual events programmes will be planned and publicised well in advance; the Friends’ website will be more actively promoted; and further steps will be taken to recruit new members.

Friends are warmly thanked for responding to the survey and for giving the Committee their views.

June 2016 


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