Posted on January 28, 2020
In 2019, the Toledo Lucas County Public Library totaled 2.5 million visits to its 20 locations. They browsed an extensive catalog of titles, accessed the internet on hundreds of public computers and met their neighbors at community meetings. The Library was their key to information. And so a recent Gallup survey quantifying libraries’ appeal was both welcome and well-understood.
Admission Without a Ticket
Gallup found each adult in the United States averaged 10.5 library visits in 2019, nearly once every month. Visiting the library is by far the country’s most common cultural activity, the report determined. It is about twice as common as attending a movie at the theater (5.3 annual visits on average) or a live sporting event (4.7 visits). Libraries led this poll when Gallup previously asked the question in 2001.
The survey further confirmed that libraries represent a great cross-section of society. They are popular gathering places regardless of age, gender, family income and region of the country. Gallup emphasized libraries’ continued success alongside the expansion of digital streaming and gaming. These are institutions Americans visit regularly and without an admission fee.
“Whether because they offer services like free WiFi, movie rentals, or activities for children, libraries are most utilized by young adults, women and residents of low-income households,” according to the report.
Visiting the library is by far the country’s most common cultural activity. It is about twice as common as attending a movie at the theater or a live sporting event.
Americans' Reports of Leisure and Activities Gallup Poll
Making, Gaming, Creating
Customers visit (and keep coming back to) the Toledo Library, because here, books are just the beginning of what is offered. The Library has broadened its scope of offerings to include resources such as free work spaces for entrepreneurs and has adapted as technology trends have changed.
Its Making section features digital devices from studio equipment to 3D printers and Cricut machines. Meanwhile, the Library’s growing eMedia collections offers numerous streaming options.
There is a reason why the Library’s popularity endures. It was, and is, a “third place” – a term coined in 1989 by sociologist Ray Oldenburg in his book The Great Good Place, describing why community hangouts like libraries are essential for social connection, inclusion and democracy. More than 30 years after the concept originated, libraries are still serving in this important role.
Whether you’ve visited recently or haven’t been in for a while, make the Toledo Library your third place! Stop in today and learn how the Library can help you make something great, find new things to read or start a business.
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