There appears to be no statistically significant difference between these education groups in their feeling of the importance of having a public library in every community. All groups feel this is important.
Development of Community Identity
Ninety-five percent of users and 83% of non-users feel having a library in every community is either somewhat or very importantOverall 80% of non-users and 93% of users felt that public library support should remain the same or be increased.
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh is the area's most visited regional asset. The Main Library in Oakland alone is the second most visited destination in the City. (p.2)
The foot traffic and cultural vitality the Library brings enhances the desirability of Downtown as a residential and commercial market. It serves as a new icon for Seattle and attracts tourists, knowledge workers, and high technology industries to the City. The Library knits together the residential neighborhoods of Belltown and First Hill and retail concentrations in the Downtown shopping district and Pioneer Square. The Library could be an important contributor in repositioning Downtown as a cultural arts district.
More than 2.3 million tourists are expected to visit the Central Library during its first year of operation, an increase of more than 250% compared to the prior year. Approximately 30% of these visitors--725,000 individuals--are projected to be out-of-town visitors, coming from the Puget Sound region, other states, or other countries. The Library is drawing greater numbers of visitors from a larger radius; these increases in activity drive the economic benefits the Library brings to Seattle. A 1% increase in annual visitors to King County creates $1 billion in new spending statewide over a 25 year period.
With the increasing use of the Internet and online media to support political and social activities and provide access to news and current events across the country, access to the Internet becomes an important component of community life. The study found that people use their library’s computers and Internet connection to organize or participate in community groups, volunteer, engage in political and social causes, and keep up with the news and current events.The actions enabled by access to the library computers for many users are perhaps even more important, ranging from finding funding sources or members for community groups to donating to political or social causes. As communities become more distributed and less based on geographic proximity, the library is helping those who might otherwise have no other access to online communities participate in an active way in our society.Overall, 33 percent of users (25.5 million people) used their public library’s computer and Internet resources to learn about social or political issues or to participate in community life. Of these users, 40 percent indicated they had undertaken activities in this area for a relative, friend, colleague, or someone else in the past year. (p. 131)