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Survey of 2011


Survey Report

May 3, 2011


Data for the Indiana Free Library’s Community Survey was collected from February 18, through March 31, 2011.  The survey was written and the data was analyzed by Drs. Sherrill Kuckuck and Stephen Osborne, IUP Professor of Management.  Dr. Jeff Fratangelia, NCATE Assessment Coordinator, Office of Special Projects, IUP College of Education & Educational adapted the survey into a Survey Monkey format and analyzed the data thereof.  Data entry was done by Jackie Wiley and Joan Rittenberger.


A total of 561 surveys were completed and tabulated.  Surveys were completed in the following locations.



Library Users



The demographics of the respondents who USE the library are as follows: Gender:     86   Male        248    Female


What is your age group?

22 Under 18                45  19 – 34      120  35 – 55                148  over 55


Where do you live?

114  Indiana Boro      159 White Twp    13  Armstrong Twp  Shelocta Boro  47 Other


The following responses came from the 517 people who USE the library. This includes people who took the survey at the Indiana Mall, at the Library, through the Library Newsletter, at the Puppet Show, in small solicited groups, and through Survey Monkey.  Responses of particular significance are highlighted in yellow.


Mean = average score for all who answered the question

Number (#) = number of people who answered the question




Describe your reasons for using the library

How important is each to you?

     1 = Low Importance     4 = Very Important

                                                Mean              #

  Borrow books                       3.70                 321                   

  Borrow audio books             2.33                 250

  Get information/research      2.74                 269     

  Read/borrow magazines        2.37                 256

  Read newspapers                  1.80                 240     

  Use the computers                2.11                 235

  Use Wi-Fi                              1.93                 220

  Borrow DVDs/videos           2.48                 251

  Use the children’s area          2.49                 244

  Use the teen area                   1.95                 220

  Quiet place to work/study     2.42                234

  Use fax or copy machine                  1.86                 236

  Meet friends/associates         2.13                 237

  Other                                     3.03                 37       



To what extent would you be interested in the following:

1 = Low Importance     4 = Very Important

                                                                                                            Mean               #

Computer station to download electronic bks to iPod, MP3 player   2.41                 301     

Instant messaging or Internet chat to ask librarians questions            2.24                 293

Dedicated reading/study space with carrels                                       2.40                 295

Conference room                                                                                2.37                 298

Conference room with            tele/video conference                                     2.29                 293

Room for rent for parties, receptions, or other events                        2.55                 294

Coffee/refreshment                                                                             2.58                 306

Computer training lab                                                                         2.60                 302


In what areas would like to see the Library technology improved

 1 = Low Importance     4 = Very Important

                                                                                                            Mean               #

More computers to access the collection                                            2.63                 285     

More computers with internet access                                                  2.67                 284

More computers with word processing & spreadsheet programs       2.42                 273

More on-line databases                                                                       2.56                 278

Improved access from home computers via Internet                          3.04                 292

Other                                                                                                   2.97                 35


What new programs would you like to see offered at the library?  Circle how important each is to you.

1 = Low Importance     4 = Very Important

                                                                                                            Mean               #

Play groups                                                                                         2.23                 275     

Homework help                                                                                  2.47                 279

Author appearances                                                                            2.79                 302

Musical performances                                                                        2.65                 289

Book discussions                                                                                2.90                 301


Craft/hobby groups                                                                             2.62                 285

Speakers on different  topics                                                               2.93                 304

Artist programs                                                                                   2.68                 283

Gaming clubs                                                                                      2.01                 274

Other                                                                                                   2.79                 10

Non Library Users


The demographics of the respondents who do not use the library are as follows: Gender:     50   Male        123    Female


What is your age group?

9  Under 18                 41  19 – 34                  59  35 – 55                  66  over 55


Where do you live?

24  Indiana Borough      62  White Twp    Armstrong Twp  Shelocta Boro  79 Other


The following responses came from the 191 people who DO NOT USE the library. Responses of particular significance are highlighted in yellow.

Why don’t you use the library? (Check all that apply)

                                                            Number of People Who Checked Each Option

  I have books at home                                 72       

  Library is too far from home                      34

  Don’t have transportation                          6

  Don’t have a library card                           48

  Cost of library card                                    18

  Lack of parking                                          36  (Not a major issue for non-library users)

  I use my school/college library                   32

  I use the internet                                        72

  I buy my own books/magazines                 73

  I am not a reader                                        14



Respondents were given the opportunity throughout the survey to respond to the prompt: Other (please specify). 


They were also given the opportunity to answer two open-ended questions at the conclusion of the survey:


Are there any other topics or programs that would be of interest to you?

If there was one thing that you could change about the Library, what would it be?


Six themes emerged from their open-ended responses: Parking, Hours, Technology, Programs, the Library Building, and Volunteers.  Highlights contained in these themes are as follows.  A complete list of all of the responses of both library users and non library users to all open-ended questions is found in APPRENIX A.



Those who use the library mentioned lack of parking. as a problem numerous times; however, those persons who do not use the library, did not mention lack of parking as a reason for their decision not to use the library. 



Respondents who use the library wanted the library to be open more hours.  Responses included:  re-open on Fridays, more late night hours during the week,  be open when people are free – weekends, evenings, minor holidays, and days when schools are closed. 



A better website that would enable patrons to: renew books from home, search the collection, request books, and reserve books,.



Book clubs, groups of all kinds (water color painting groups, groups to play a variety of games, quilting, knitting), discussions on current events, short-term book clubs for tweens (ages 10, 11, 12) with different genres each time, more movies (documentaries), speakers on a variety of topics (genealogy, personal taxes, cooking), authors speaking, book discussions on a variety of topics, IUP international  students speaking about their homeland,  more programs for children, location for community groups to meet.


The Library Building

Some commented that the library should remain where it is.  Others talked about wanting a more “alive” décor, improving the condition of the bathrooms, and the need for renovation (citing that the building is getting old).



Expand opportunities for volunteers - other than shelving.





Appendix A




Describe your OTHER reasons for using the library


Responses collected from paper & pencil surveys.  All comments are as written.

Just moved here.

I have two children

 that I use the library for.

Children's activities. (2)



Family time

Attend programs. interlibrary loans.

Bring Scout groups


Help by staff

Room to rent for parties for children.

Attend talks/discussions by Dr. Irwin

All the N/A I don't do or give them!

just to study


Hang out


place informational flyers re: community events

Every community needs a library we all love the library

Tax Forms Community Room


Responses collected through Survey Monkey.  All comments are as written.

programs & book clubs

We used the library extensively while our daughter was a student and look forward to using it more for ourselfves when  we retire and have more time to read.

Specila events

Place community information brochures

Story Hour and events put on by IFL.

a way to get information out to others  networking

We set up a kiosk at the library for one month out of the year to give the community information about our non-profit organization.

Get tax information

I pick up tax forms for my kids.

Library Board activities.


In what other areas you would like to see technology improved.


Responses collected from paper & pencil surveys.  All comments are as written.

Interaction with the library such as renew/reserve books through the website

Ability to access library account from home... request books, renew books

Renew books online

Courses on Genology, Antiques, etc. information tied into other Libraries such as large cities, Pennsylvania or govm't agencies

Renew on line!!!

 it's fine the way it is!

Computer classes

Internet book renewal


Wider range of fiction.  Too much inner library loan.

Responses collected through Survey Monkey.  All comments are as written.

New technology that could be borrowed so you can try it.

The ability to reserve materials, renew materials, and search the library catalog from home

Renew books online

Be able to renew books from home online and determine if books are available at the library from home.

offer classes on how to use technology and doing research on the internet

I cannot borrow books because I do not reside in the libaray area.


What other new programs would you like to see offered at the library?


Responses collected from paper & pencil surveys.  All comments are as written.


Sports history

Discussion groups on latest ed. Of  NYBR

Would be nice to have a atercolor painters group & a group for playing Mah Jong.

Mystery dinner shows

College volunteers

Reading incentives for children - our school does not offer any.

Discussions on very current events

Book club

Library update sessions (bi-monthly)

Getting community to be closer



Responses collected through Survey Monkey.  All comments are as written.

Educational Programs like computer classes

I could certainly see our workplace using conference rooms or computer training rooms if they were available

A program to provide books or magazines to nursing homes or homebound might be exciting.   Even picture books of travels/gardening, etc are fun for people who have disablities with vision or hearing. My Mom was always happy when I chose a book for her to at least see the pictures.  TV gets boring in a nursing home and if a resident is high functioning, lack of stimulation can cause many sad days.

I would like to sense that the library is more welcoming to those NOT from Indiana Borough or White Township, but who still make the effort to visit and even purchase a library card.

Computer learning for internet and home use.   \Add a resource for books that people have read so one can read others thoughts of books.  recommendations too.

book of the month club

Open the library to Indiana Co Residents

Places for community groups to meet.


Are there any other topics or programs that would be of interest to you?


Responses collected from paper & pencil surveys.  All comments are as written.


Movies, puppet shows, geography topics

Kids programs esp. in the winter on Saturday.

More children's programs


Reading groups


Every library should have Marcel Proust's In Search of the Lost Time (6 vol.)

Computer classes


Help start book clubs not  at the Library meet elsewhere)

IUP Imvolvement with Library - they are residents

Short-term book clubs for tweens with different genres each time. (age 10-11-12)

Please keep growing book collection -  fiction & non-fiction

Right Now - ? No.


Victorian era, castles/castle construction


No Not really

If this is an Indiana Co. Library, why do other schools not in Boro or White Twp. have to pay to get a card?

just more audiobooks


Thank you for the wonderful job that you do!


Local history; American history




A robot reading the story

Computer education


older videos/movies


gaming group and book discussion


more documentaries


community groups


Book Club &  Meeting Places


I really like the music performances - even some smaller talented ensembles from high schools.

More evening hours

not really - ones above are good

I liked the Artist's hand program and music stuff is good



Study groups/tutoring

Author speaking book discussions on different geners, horror, thriller, graphic novels

Writer’s Group


Responses collected through Survey Monkey.  All comments are as written.

offerings such as are found at Barnes and Noble

More materials/technology for visually impaired

Technology class


Classes in Genealogy, Personal Taxes, Cooking, using Spreedsheets and other computer programs.


More books about animal care or stories about human-animal connection

history, the arts, subject matter tied into books

more documentary dvds


Same town authors and local authors, session for history

I like it there - keep up the (current) good work!

historical info on local area



Reasearch classes/where to find materials/how to write a report with references.



Story Hour

How to buy a Kindle

International students could make presentation about thier country



If there was one thing that you could change about the Library, what would it be?


Responses collected from paper & pencil surveys.  All comments are as written.

Open more hours

Volunteering for a program

Improve website…search & access

More room - Do the READ program - more room

More encouragement for people to stay quiet in the library!

The smell :(

More play toys for smaller children


Parking - Library is great - very current - staff are friendly


Making it easier to renew books from home computer.

A way to have audio books & CD's cleaned

More parking

Free & better parking

More parking

Daily New York Times

Be open on Friday - I still come some Fridays!

More parking

Make it a whole County Assoc. as in Allegheny Library & Frederick co, MD Assoc.

More parking!!!

More hours of operation


I would enjoy being able to take out more than 3 DVD's at a time

No changes - keep the library where it is!

I would give you more funding so you could be open more hours & build you a parking lot

More selections

Have newer books avail more quickly

Improve lay-out of non-fiction area.  Books are too close to the floor are too hard to see.

Open more

None - it is excellent!

Free parking, stay & not move or be close to where you presently are now.

I enjoy the library everything & everyone is great.


More mysteries, less emphasis on technology

That you open on Fridays again.

Better searching for books; more movie selection + a; list of Oscar nominees

More parking; Board Meetings open to public

Parking & drive-up book drop

Easier parking


to have it open more hours

Knitting or quilting groups

LOCATION!  Parking and crossing are dangerous

Nothing!  This is the best library I've found in my 78 years (& that includes the so called "prestiguous library" in Tredyffon Township Pa!!)


More “alive” décor

More Parking

Only larger book collection.  I'm glad you have computers & I use them at other libraries when away from home, I am old fashion & enjoy holding a book!

Move computer out of the main work area.  Establish a closer relationship with the college library. Seems a shame to have a large library within reach but not have a working relationship. Keep the library where it is.

More children's programs in the evening.

What I would not change is the location of the library.  Currently it is  located in the heart of the Boro community.  While you now hear complaints about the lack of parking, moving to a less walkable location will eliminate accessibility for many patrons. You should keep this in mind as you explore building options for the future.

More outreach to pull community members into the facility.  More educating the community as to what is available at the library.

More hours.

Update the collection for the Victorian Era

Free parking

iI don't know

I want it where it is - accessible & in sight of everyone.


The amount of space avaialble for functions.

Exchange books over the internet.

Free parking!

more books

more parking

Easier to park


More hours

More selection of non fiction

Please decrease the cost of card to out of Boro users.

better parking

parking & stairs

I like the library.  I can't wait to take my son.

like it as is.

hours - increase

parking issues - needs more




Closer to my home: Washington Twp.

hours & PARKING!

Lack of parking.  That is what keeps me away.more.

Like to go but can not find place to park

I like ie the way it has always been.

I love the library.  I hope it could be open Fridays in the future.


renovation (building is getting old)

Parking - always a problem

I would love it if they had more hours because of my class schedule at school


none - this is an excellent library & well educated & helpful people

nothing.  It's great

Longer Hours compensation for librarians


I don't know

The word "free" confuses people

Keep it open and in the same location.

More books

Nothing it's wonderful

More late night hours during wk (like Wed)


I should just go more

I'd make it a bigger & more involved part of the community.

More current novels

I wish the Saturday movies were a little earlier: noon or one

to be able to renew over the phone or internet

I would like to be able to search the catalog from home.

Indiana needs more community space.

move money - big building

all on one level in the future

Open more hours per day/days per week

Need more parking

Raise money toward a Community Center/Meeting Area

Internet access to collection


Responses collected through Survey Monkey.  All comments are as written.


More pre-teen books available

it would be quiet

expand the fiction and reference materials (already fine - continued focus on this, please)

Parking access

More space, better parking

easier access to parking and entrance

more evening hours

I'd like to see the Library take over Horace Mann School (if the School District closes it) and put the Library all on one floor and rent space to other groups like Indiana Arts Council


I am very happy with our library and hope that it is not threatened by lack of funds or by replacement of physical materials by all internet materials.

Give it more funding to be open Fridays!

Enabling free access to the library for all of Indiana Co.  I do realize it means a committment from the outlying school districts, however, the tax imposed would probably be minimal and the return to the library would probably be substantial.

more space

Parking... If there was easy available parking I would visit the library much more often

Access to Parking

Improve the condition of the restrooms

lack of parking space and fewer steps

Increase number of audio and large print books

1/parking limited now improve this, 2/all IFL floors on one level with few stairs

more and longer hours

more opportuniities for volunteers-other than shelving


More (free) parking

open when people are free - weekends, evenings, minor holidays.

Expanded hours and open on days when area schools are closed


Lower fees for out-of area residents (I live in Blacklick Township)


That it's existance not be threatened!

I always come for the kids and they love it!

Better parking



Open to all of Indiana County not just the residents

free parking

Be open on Friday and close another day - Tue or Wed

more parking w

hich is free

handicapped accessibility


short-term parking

Enhanced programs for children

more hours including Fridays

Be able to Renew Books from home/inter-library loan through website

open more hours/days


A new Board of Directors.

Parking - particularly for the elderly & parents with children.





Responses collected from paper & pencil surveys.  All comments are as written.


I have a Kindle

I am a student at Penn State on-line library

Burrell Twp. Library

Did not know it existed

No Time/Graduate Student


"Parking downtown is terrible"

Just busy

Poor vision

The library doesn't have the books I like.  I am an avid reader of high quality historical fiction i.e. (Ken Follett)

We do not use the library but support it financially.

I have a kindle

In line in a 15701 zip but would have to pay for a card.  I think anyone paying 15701 taxes should be allowed to use the library.  I would make donations.  It is not the money as much as the principal.

I use the Homer City Library


Responses collected through Survey Monkey.  All comments are as written.

I don't know! I end up in coffee shops instead.

I don't have time for general reading, only medically- business related things that require very up-to-date research that is usually found on Elsevier. I do not know if the library has free wifi.

I work all day and just don't have time to go to the library.

resident requirement

I live in Homer City and would have to pay even though I live in Indiana County.

It takes me longer to read a book than the time allotted.

                                    C: Sherry/Library/Community Survey/FINAL SurveyRpt.5-17-2011