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.
Create and Strengthen Communities
Happily, 42 percent gave public libraries an "A", ranking us at the top of local public services that included police and public safety, parks and recreation, public schools, social service, roads and mass transit, and local government efficiency. Marylanders told us that, next to public green space (parks), they ranked public libraries as the most desired community asset.
Eighty-one percent (81%) of economically impacted Americans have a library card compared to 68% for Americans who have not been impacted. Economically impacted Americans are 50% more likely to visit their library at least weekly (18% vs. 12%) and are nearly a third more likely to visit at least once a month (36% vs. 27%). More than a third (37%) of economically impacted respondents said they are using the library more often than they did before the economic downturn. Increased library use is substantially higher than any other lifestyle activity increase measured.
A majority of public libraries, 67%, report that they are the only free source of computer and Internet access for the communities they serve.