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Random > Picking books at the library?

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm doing a volunteer project with my local branch library to try to help them improve their purchasing, and one component of it is this this survey.

I know it's a little longer than most of the polls on this group, but it would be great if you could take a few minutes to answer; it's for a good cause. I know it says "Sci-fi" on the survey itself, but we're also interested in people who aren't heavy sci-fi readers, so we can get a baseline.

I will of course post the results here when it's done. The ultimate goal is to write an A.I. that sends a list of book recommendations to the librarian that she can look out when she does her quarterly materials order.


message 2: by Mark (new)

Mark (markhousley) | 4 comments Interesting poll.

message 3: by Ashly (new)

Ashly (ashlyh) Voted

message 4: by Susy (new)

Susy (susysstories) | 126 comments I filled out the survey although I'm living in the Netherlands so not sure if my answers will be of much help....

message 5: by Melliott (new)

Melliott (goodreadscommelliott) | 448 comments What is an "A.I."?

Regarding purchasing (I'm a librarian), the real advantage you would have is if you could get the people who actually use that library to take your survey. It's so important to cater to your specific demographic when buying books. Even in my library system, where one of the three branches is about two miles from the central library and the other is less than five miles away, we have such distinct demographics just between the three branches that we purchase differently for each. Our Central library has a huge mystery collection, while sci fi is more popular at our second branch, and realistic (preferably gritty) fiction goes over big at our third branch. So as long as you're surveying, maybe check some of your statistics to see what's going out and ask some readers in person to find out why.

message 6: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Bowe (sarahsbookstack) Did it!

message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

Melliott wrote: "What is an "A.I."?

Regarding purchasing (I'm a librarian), the real advantage you would have is if you could get the people who actually use that library to take your survey. It's so important to ..."

A.I. = "Artificial Intelligence"

Melliot....I absolutely agree. This is just the first step in a project that I'll probably be working on off and on for the next year or two. The major goal right now is to identify factors that are important across demographics that are worth focusing on so I can start developing a model. That way my program will have a starting point; from there I will "train" it against actual circulation data for the branch.

The other nice thing is that we live in a major city, so I can get pretty fine-grained demographic data (often down to the city block level) and weight our survey data to match.

Cool, huh? Remember...any one of those homeless-looking guys at the tables in the library all day might be an unemployed data scientist who did his business school thesis on expert systems... ;-)

Thanks to everyone who answered so far!

⭐Anny⭐ (Book Princess) (annithebookprincess) | 640 comments I voted too :) Good luck with your project!

message 9: by Nyla (new)

Nyla Panzilius (nylap) | 71 comments I'm very interested to see your results once you have them.

message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

I have preliminary results from the survey. Cheers to everyone who participated!

You should be able to see Google Form's summary by going to https://goo.gl/forms/kvzVgZ75h7ZIiUv03

For my fellow quant nerds, I started a repository with the raw data and my preliminary statistical analysis https://github.com/longhunt/sci_fi_su...

Over the next couple weeks I will be figuring out what it all means and writing a report, which I will also post. I did notice a couple of things right away, though:

1) More than half the respondents self identify as librarians. Apparently, librarians like to take surveys about libraries...

2) Series related factors are the most important to the majority of readers. People want to continue reading series they have started or start new series with lots of books available at the library.

3) The respondents cluster rather neatly into two groups, which we can call "Heavy Readers" and "Moderate Readers". The heavy readers seem to skew female and be more educated--though probably not as much as it seems from the raw data, since we have so many librarians responding (librarians also skew female, and most of them have masters degrees). This seems to agree with the academic literature, such as this article which I found after the survey had already started.

More to come. Thanks again!

message 11: by Melliott (new)

Melliott (goodreadscommelliott) | 448 comments Are you only interviewing adults? or are you including teens? I wondered because many of the teens in my book clubs don't want to read a book if it is the first in a series, particularly if it ends on a cliffhanger, because they don't want to be obliged to continue, they want to move on to another book/author/universe/story.

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