Marketing & promotion
Public libraries have a commitment to making their services accessible to all. Library marketing strategies will be underpinned by this commitment but will also need specific actions to ensure that the needs of sight impaired people are addressed.
Market research - demographics
A profile of sight impaired people can be compiled from national statistics on the demographics of sight impairment. It is important to remember that the numbers of people registered as sight impaired is only one third of the people who need adjustments to standard print in order to access reading. Social services departments (Adult & Community/Children’s Services) have a legal duty to keep and maintain registers of sight impaired and severely sight impaired people for their locality (known formerly as registers of blind and partially sighted people). Names on the register cannot be given out due to medical confidentiality and Data Protection. However the department(s) that hold the register will often be prepared to pass on relevant information to people on the register. Approaches to social service and special service teams may be most effective if made at Director level.
In addition to identifying individuals, the market research could map key organisations and agencies that work with people with sight loss. Making links with statutory and voluntary services will increase the effectiveness of reaching people with sight impairment.
Market research - consultation and engagement
Market research has always included consultation with user and potential user groups, informing them and getting feedback. Public services today are working to extend this to a deeper engagement with their communities.
The government White Paper Communities in control: real people, real power seeks to shift power, influence and responsibility away from existing centres of power into the hands of communities and individual citizens.
The National standards for community engagement in Scotland set out best practice principles for the way that government agencies, councils, health boards, police and other public bodies engage with communities.
The same principles of consultation and engagement apply to people with sight loss, although the techniques and methods used should take account of their particular needs.