Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Library roles

According to the national survey of public library's roles, from 1993, providing educational support was, for all age ranges, consistently rated higher then the more community-space oriented choices. How does this compare to the priorities of public libraries where you work/have worked? Should this change the way public libraries promote themselves within the community?

Why does it matter that non-Caucasian groups rated the roles of the library higher in addition to indicating a higher per capita expenditure? Do you think this is reflected in who uses the public library, in your observations?

WLA presents some statistics from 2003 showing that "the annual statewide average per capita local and county tax support for public library service in 2003 was $30.59." If you want to read more about the tax support or other library statistics from 2003 the website is: http://www.wla.lib.wi.us/legis/relevance.htm

1 comment:

Quinn Fullenkamp said...

I have often sat in the main branch of the Sioux Falls SD public library to watch and see what goes on. This library is located downtown, and is heavily used by the poorer populations of Sioux Falls. This population includes groups of Native Americans, African American, HIspanic Americans, Asian American, and some others. This minority population depends greatly on this library for internet access, local news and job listings, information and shelter. Some of the staff of the library have graduated from UW-Madison SLIS, and have talked very openly to me about the people who use this library. For many people this library is there only link to information, jobs and warmth. They expect the library to receive full support from the Sioux Falls taxpayers, and they also expect the library to continue to offer as many of these services no matter what is going on in the world. The Caucasian population (by far the largest pop. in Sioux Falls) does use the library, but their level of interest in the library is far lower. This group does not appear to rely on the library for the same level or extent of services as minority populations in the same area.