CGR Study on City Branch Libraries

Highland-Story-TimeThe City commissioned the Center for Governmental Research to assist the Rochester Public Library (RPL) in a yearlong branch planning process for the ten community branch libraries.

Read the study 

Summary of study

This study provides updated information of the communities and patrons served; current usage patterns, what stakeholders anticipate and desire in the future; opportunities to partner and improve; and the changing content of library systems in general.

Selected key findings include:

  • As a system, the libraries are serving the community well. Measures in utilization are all trending up and compare favorably with peer systems.
  • While RPL is a system, it should be thought of as a system of separate and unique parts. Branches serve demographically different areas of the City and the libraries play different roles in response. In other words, each branch is unique.
  • Branches serve more than their local patrons. Just over half of RPL patrons exclusively use one library. The rest utilize a number of branches based on convenience and preferences. In fact two branches (Charlotte and Winton) drew the majority of their patrons from suburban areas.

The study provides a broad and external picture, and will be used to guide the next phase of analysis and planning.