The Friends of the South End Branch Library recently completed its Temporary Services Survey for the South End library.
The survey, which ran for one month and finished on Dec. 15, was administered online via Survey Monkey and garnered 349 responses. Respondents represented all age groups, although most were between the ages of 25 and 44, or over 65 years old; three-quarters of respondents were female, compared with one-quarter of respondents who were male. The survey was publicized through the city’s Office of Neighborhood Services, as well as via posters, flyers, websites, and email.
Conclusions drawn from the survey, according to Yvette Jarreau on behalf of FOSEL, are that South End residents need consistent temporary library services, including book pickup and returns; meeting space; Story Time; WiFi in the Library Park; and computer services with WiFi.
Around 87 percent of respondents cited book pickup and returns as the most-important regular, ongoing temporary library services in the neighborhood to them, while nearly 52 percent of respondents pointed to the need for meeting space.
The top locations for a library in the neighborhood per the survey findings are a staffed location, a modular unit at the Library Park, or a bookmobile.
Survey respondents said “ideally” they would like to see the Boston Public Library find and staff a “temporary, day-to-da” location in the South End.
Either a modular unit or a bookmobile could be located on the grounds pf the South End Branch Library to deliver services, including book pickup and returns, Story Time, and computer services with WiFi, respondents said. The bookmobile would have an added advantage over a modular unit, however, since a bookmobile could be used at other branch locations as needed.
“FOSEL encourages BPL and the City to expand temporary services to all Library Branches when they experience closures,” Jarreau wrote. “This will increase the value of our Public Library to the citizens of the City as well as more fully support the Library’s mission.”
The Sound End Branch Library will be closed for the foreseeable future, following a major flood there in late April .
In the meantime, the BPL has committed to offering temporary library services and programming in the community.