We just want to thank everyone for their support. We had a great grassroots campaign advocating the libraries and what we have to offer.
If you’re looking for the heart of any community, look no further than the local library. It’s the one place in Canada where the doors are open to everyone, whether you’re
- filling out an online job application or using resources to help you pass your job certification exams;
- sitting in a school library media center learning skills to prepare you for a lifetime of learning in our digital world or a grandmother learning to e-mail your grandson overseas;
- studying for college exams or living somewhere where the library provides your only access to education beyond the high school level;
- researching your past or looking for citizenship and a new home in Canada;
- the richest person or someone without a home,
A 2006 study concluded that there was indeed a future for public libraries in the Internet age. Those surveyed in the study said that the public library was central to a healthy community, especially in the eyes of those who were most actively engaged in their communities. They said that the public library was a safe and appealing place that spends public money well. In contrast to a study funded by the Benton Foundation six years earlier, this one found that a majority would rather raise taxes than cut library services or force libraries to charge fees. The public library topped the list of public services, outranking police and schools. Nine out of 10 of those surveyed believed that libraries would be needed in the future, regardless of technology developments. But, amazingly, to the librarians, the public surveyed did not see library funding as being in jeopardy.
In Ontario, the Federation of Ontario Public Libraries did a survey of residents over 18 in November 2005 to ascertain Ontarians’ views and perceptions, and to see what had changed since the previous Ontario survey in 2000. This study found that in-person use was almost identically strong, with 2 of 3 of Ontarians having a library card and using the library. The library had held its ground as a respected pillar of communities. The same percentage as before (27%) said the library would become even more important in the future, and a similar 25% ranking the PL at the top of publicly funded services. A majority disagreed that the public library would no longer be a building and that everything would be accessed electronically. This survey showed that there is a lot of room to raise the profile of library Web sites and Web-accessible resources. The availability of help in using the Internet is not generally recognized. There was a positive change in the perceptions of younger respondents (ages 19-24) since 2000, in that they were now more likely to have a library card and to believe public libraries will become more important in the future.