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Research Reinforces Creation of Special Library District
Libraries Rank High in Value Nationally & At Home
The vast majority of Americans agree public libraries play an important role in their communities and that the closing of their public library would impact the community as a whole, according to data from the Pew Research Center1. 2013 was one of the strongest years nationally for libraries with 2.5 billion materials circulated. The report shows:
- 95% of Americans ages 16 and older agree that the materials and resources available at public libraries play an important role in giving everyone a chance to succeed;
- 94% say that having a public library improves the quality of life in a community;
- 90% of Americans say that the closing of their local public library would impact their community as a whole, with 63% saying it would have a major impact.
“Here at home, we are finding the same favorable opinions of Buffalo & Erie County Public Libraries. The community strongly values the role of our public libraries,” said Library System Board Chairman Jack Connors.
The results of a Siena College Research Institute “use and perception” survey in Erie County found:
- 88% of Erie County residents have a favorable opinion of Buffalo & Erie County Public Libraries;
- 73% of Erie County voters surveyed have a Library card;
- 76% of those surveyed responded positively to the creation of a Special Legislative District for the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library System if current funding levels were to be maintained.
“These results reinforce our efforts to find a stable source of funding for the libraries of Erie County and confirm our belief that Buffalo & Erie County Public Libraries are important to everyone. Those who would look to reduce funding, thus weakening our libraries, should review these findings before acting,” stated Chairman Connors.
Library System Director Mary Jean Jakubowski added, ”Library users understand the sad reality of budget cuts - closed libraries, reduced open hours, materials and services. It’s time to give the community a say in the funding process for our libraries.”
The Siena survey was initiated and funded by the Library Foundation of Buffalo & Erie County. At the Foundation’s request, the full Siena College survey report has been posted on the Library System’s website at: http://bit.ly/1itdLDh (the Siena Poll Executive Summary) and http://bit.ly/PjC21W (the Siena Poll Crosstabs).”
1 2014 Pew Internet & American Life Project- - How Americans Value Public Libraries in Their Communities.