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Impact Survey Results – we’re the place to get connected

December 14, 2011

The Rochester Public Library recently participated in the IMPACT Survey, the first large-scale investigation of the ways U.S. library patrons use computers and the Internet at public libraries, why they use it, and how it affects their lives.  The survey was made available to all public libraries with generous support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

In 2010, the threshold of the Rochester Public Library was crossed nearly 585,000 times.  During these visits, just over 68,000 sessions on public access Internet terminals were completed.

Library patrons were busy searching for job opportunities and submitting employment applications (30%), accessing educational help (26%), engaging with the community (36%), getting answers to health-related questions (33%), and applying for government services (25%).

The Rochester Public Library began offering public access computers in 1995 and currently has 26 Internet stations available and a wireless network that library patrons with their own laptops can use to access the Internet.  The library also provides an array of computer instruction and classes.  53% of survey respondents indicated receiving one-on-one technology help from library staff or volunteers.

Half of the respondents reported that public computing resources are very important to themselves personally and 85% felt that they are very important to have available for others in the community.  This finding reinforces the significance of the Rochester Public Library as the place in our community to get connected.

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