Most agree that hands-on, practical application of what students learn in classes help add a more enjoyable element to schooling.
The Public Relations research methods class, taught by Matthew Zimmerman, was challenged with performing public surveys for their client.
The client was Chris Warren, director of The Auburn Public Library.
The student groups performed an online survey, as well as a focus group.
"I was pleased with the results," Warren said. "We’ve worked with students in previous PRCM classes, and we’ve had a positive experience. The students get some hands-on experience with surveys and focus groups, and we’re able to gain some knowledge about how the library can best serve the community."
The group received 23–24 responses from their online survey.
The responses were primarily positive. The group that performed the online survey concluded there was a need for a better social media presence and a more diverse schedule.
Warren was not entirely surprised by the results they received.
"The results were in line with what we’ve been hearing from patrons, especially about how we need to diversify our program schedule so that we have more activities in evenings and on weekends," Warren said.
The library plans to use the students' findings to assist in finalizing programs for the upcoming year.
The focus group was held at the Heubert and Graves Senior Center. There were 10 participants and one moderator.
The group expressed frustrations such as lack of Internet connection and privacy, functionality of the website and room reservation policies.
The student group found those that participated were eager to respond. Many of the participants were uniformed of what he library had to offer.
"We’ll look at ways to improve our social media presence, we’ll explore ways to improve our website, and we’ll keep the survey and focus group in mind as we plan future programs and as we look at any facility improvements," Warren said.