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CGR Study on Rochester Branch Libraries

CGR Study on Rochester Branch Libraries

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Published by rachbarnhart
CGR Study on Rochester Branch Libraries
CGR Study on Rochester Branch Libraries

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Published by: rachbarnhart on May 22, 2013
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07/31/2014

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Two recent reports have broadly compared the use and roles of urban
library systems over the past five years; many of the findings generally
seem to align with what CGR finds in Rochester.8

Key trends include rising usage, both in terms of door count, computer use
and circulation in most urban areas; this is true in Rochester as well. The
sense is that the poor economy has played a role in drawing additional
users, whether they are looking for jobs, free Internet access, or needing to
borrow rather than buy materials. It has also fueled a need for free space
for entrepreneurs and “free-lancers” to work collaboratively.

Another key finding is that, “City residents now see libraries, particularly
neighborhood branches, as multipurpose community centers, offering
business services, tax assistance, safe havens for children after school, and
places where immigrants can learn English.” Adapting programming,
staff, space and locations to these needs is required. This absolutely
echoes most of our stakeholder input from Rochester.

The reports also present general observations based on national scans; the
most relevant is that “the evidence from other cities suggests that weekend
hours and higher-than-average usage go hand in hand; systems with
Sunday hours have higher numbers of annual visits.”

Overall, both the Pew and Center for an Urban Future reports make the
argument that libraries should be understood not simply as cultural
institutions, but that they play a critical role in fulfilling a city’s
educational and human capital development needs.

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