County library system to research how to better serve residents

The San Luis Obispo County Library system will launch a major research project this year to explore how to better serve local patrons.

The effort, called the Increasing Community Connections Project, was funded by a $17,500 grant from the Foundation for San Luis Obispo County Public Libraries.

A matching grant of that sum is still being sought from other sources to pay for the third and final phase of the study, according to a news release from the library.

Consulting firm Orange Boy Inc. of Columbus, Ohio, plans to conduct the study from March to August.

The project will identify community interests not met by the libraries’ existing programs and materials, County Library Director Brian Reynolds said in a statement.

The research will also help the county’s network of libraries reach out to groups currently not using a library, he added.

“We are delighted to be able to provide an opportunity for all branches of the San Luis Obispo County Public Library to participate in this important study,” Foundation President Vera Wallen said in a statement.

The company’s research will be based on customer segmentation and analysis, predictive modeling, financial analyses and other forms of research.

Orange Boy has worked with more than 30 libraries for similar projects, according to the news release.

The Foundation for San Luis Obispo County Public Libraries is a nonprofit public interest corporation that advocates and raises money for public libraries countywide.

For more information on the foundation, or to make a donation for the project, visit slolibraryfoundation.org.