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Pieces of Eight


Survey Notes Library Needs

By Vicki Luttrell

East Carolina University’s Center for Survey Research has been involved in several needs-assessment projects this year. Most recently, the staff worked with the Laupus Health Sciences Library and its Outreach Services librarian to create a survey and report about services available and services being utilized at the library.

The primary goal of the survey was to find out if healthcare providers in the Eastern Area Health Education Center (Eastern AHEC) region know about the Laupus Library and if they have used the services available.

“In addition to finding out about what services are being used, we also wanted to assess the technology and information needs of healthcare providers in the Eastern AHEC region,” said Beth Ketterman, Outreach Services librarian.

“Overall, this survey is important to us because the last survey we conducted was five years ago, and our services have changed considerably since that time.”

The survey was sent to almost 500 healthcare providers in the Eastern AHEC region, including doctors, nurses, social workers, psychologists, paramedics, pharmacists and school nurses. A total of 120 participants responded to the survey, yielding a 24 percent response rate.

“This is a sound sample for the survey,” said Mandee Foushee, Center for Survey Research project manager. “The participants were selected by the Center for Survey Research to represent a mixture of organizational affiliations and a stratified sample based on county. Respondents were given an option to reply by postal mail or online.”

Results from the survey indicate less than half of the respondents knew about the Laupus Library Outreach Services librarian’s ability to access health information. However, 90 percent said they would feel comfortable contacting the librarian if needed. More than 80 percent of respondents who use the librarian reported that their health information needs were met in a quick fashion.

“As one of our next steps to help increase awareness of the Laupus Library, we will be visiting every hospital in the Eastern AHEC region by the end of this year,” said Ketterman. “We will be promoting the unique services we offer while emphasizing the electronic resources available through the Eastern AHEC Digital Library.”

The Laupus Library, founded in 1969, serves a major role in providing for the medical needs of eastern North Carolina. The library serves the Brody School of Medicine, Eastern AHEC, School of Allied Health, School of Nursing and University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina.

As a developing library collection with a museum component, the History Collections of the Laupus Library collects, catalogs, preserves and displays materials relevant to the history of health care.

The Center for Survey Research was formed in August 1989 to provide people in eastern North Carolina with access to widely used methods of assessing public opinion. The center offers several services including practical and academic research, project design and implementation, surveys, instrument design and pre-testing, preparation of proposals, grant application assistance, public opinion polls, targeted market polls, data analyses, needs assessments, focus groups and program evaluations.

For information, contact Foushee at 737-1349 or or visit

This page originally appeared in the July 28, 2006 issue of Pieces of Eight. Complete issue is archived at