Library holding focus groups to gauge user sentiment

Feb 4, 2014

The Buffalo and Erie County Public Library is seeking input from its users to find out what the customers want, or don't want, from their libraries.

Today, 'Community Perspectives' focus meetings are being held in the Kenmore, Grand Island, City of Tonawanda and Niagara Branch libraries. A complete schedule can be found at the library's website.

Buffalo's Central Library is the system's busiest.
Credit File photo

Library Director Mary Jean Jakubowski says the system is seeing changes from much more computer use to more books on tape. She says the goal is to find out what the taxpayers want.

"To hear from our patrons and prospective patrons about what they expect from their libraries, what do they need us for? Is there anything new, any new services that they're looking for us to be providing to them? What services do we have that are working? What services do we have that we think that they would like some improvement on? Is there something that we are not doing?," Jakubowksi says.

Jakubowski says participants recognize the system's fiscal limits, but are glad to hear there were 230,000 new books put into circulation last year. She says there is strong support for two traditions of the library system: story hour and use of community rooms in each library for public meetings.

The library leader says one sign things are changing is that 24/7 WiFi systems in each library are being accessed around the clock. She says limited time on computers is being handled with laptops which can be used inside the library along with the jammed desktops in the computer rooms.