A 1966 survey of 21,385 adult (12 years old or older) public library users in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan region of Maryland who entered the library during a 6-week period (79.1% of patrons approached filled out the survey instrument) showed that67.9% of the respondents traveled to the library by car, 24.6% walked, and 4.9% traveled by bus. According to self-report, 39.7% of the respondents traveled less than 1 mile, 44.4% between 1 and 5 miles, 9.1% between 5 and 10 miles, 3.5% between 10 and 15 miles, 1.8% over 15 miles, and 1.5% did not respond.              (Source)

         Ibid…. showed thatthe top 3 difficulties given by 5,029 respondents in trying to use the library were getting parking space (9.2%), library too noisy (5.4%), and difficult to figure out the library arrangement (4.7%).                     (Source)

A survey reported in 1978 of all libraries reporting in Library Journal that they had completed main and branch buildings with on-site parking in FY 1972, 1973, and 1974 (population: 150; responding 108 or 72%, including 72 main buildings and 36 branches) showed that, of the 38 respondents willing to state an opinion for a standard, the “prevailing opinion” was that 1 square foot of parking should be allowed for each square foot of public library building.                      (Source)

         Ibid…. showed thatthe average number of parking spaces per square foot of library building was .0025 for main library buildings and .0034 spaces per square foot for branch library buildings.                      (Source)

 A questionnaire survey of 3,500 public library cardholders in 5 medium-sized Pennsylvania cities in conjunction with interviews of a randomly selected sample of householders in 1 city by the Institute of Public Administration (at Pennsylvania State University) under contract to the Pennsylvania State Library in 1965 showed thatthe most consistent criticism of the library was the absence of adequate patron parking space. Criticism of the building, the collection, and the reference materials all took second place to parking. The importance of parking was also shown in that improved parking accommodations were given more often as the most important change patrons recommended for improving library service in 4 out of 5 cities.                        (Source)

Dr. David Kohl

 "Libraries in the digital age are experiencing the most profound transformation since ancient Mesopotamian scribes first began gathering and organizing cuneiform tablets."

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