The National Library of Finland coordinated a customer survey for users of research and special libraries as well as public libraries in 2010. The first national online questionnaire was conducted in 2006. The number of responses rose by 56% compared to the previous survey. In the public library sector, over 80% of the users agreed that the library services had supported their cultural and literary interests. Around 80% of the university and university applied sciences library users thought that libraries had helped to improve the quality of their work and studies, the same was true for 71% of the special library respondents. In all libraries, the staff's willingness to provide assistance was one of the most important factors affecting the quality of service. In terms of their service attitude, libraries were assessed as having succeeded as well or even slightly better than two years ago.
Educational Role of the Library
Forty-three percent stated that having a public library move into a community would help attract businesses to the area, and 78 percent believed that public libraries improve a community by helping people learn new skills so they can get better jobs. A whopping 98 percent felt that public libraries help people learn new things no matter what their age.
State-by-state data released by the National Center for Education Studies (NCES) in November 2007 provides evidence of a strong, positive link between the amount of children's materials circulated by public libraries and fourth-grade reading scores on the same agency's National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Of states ranking in the top half on readings scores, more than four-fifths (82 percent) ranked in the top half on circulation of children's materials per capita. Conversely, four out of five states (83 percent) in the bottom half on reading scores also rank in the bottom half on children's circulation. Of states ranking in the top half on reading scores, seven out of 10 (70 percent) ranked in the top half on attendance at children's programs per capita. By contrast, seven out of 10 states (71 percent) in the bottom half on reading scores also rank in the bottom half on children's program attendance.