Community Impact Survey

In this class we had the opportunity to learn how libraries can better serve the community through listening and communication. Throughout this process libraries can gain a better understanding of their patrons needs that are specific to their communities. In 2019, BPL surveyed 4,000 members of their community to understand how they could serve them more effectively. Many of the results from the survey are interesting as many of these suggestions or praises are also seen in other libraries across the country. Overall, this survey is used to demonstrate how Berkeley Public Library has found a successful way to listen to their patrons through the use of surveys. BPL actively implements suggestions from their patrons to improve their library experience.

Here are a few notable results from the survey:

How patrons use the library:

  • Most patrons use more than one branch in the BPL system
  • Most patrons access programming and materials via their neighborhood branches
  • Patrons are overall happy about the self-service options at the library, however, some have indicated that the library's cataloging can be difficult to use

Sunday Hours

  • Many patrons wish the library would extend the hours for opportunities and programming on Sunday
  • Many patrons indicated that Sunday is a preferred day for programming

Tool lending library

  • Many patrons wish the library would offer a larger variety of tools including culinary or household tools


  • Many patrons expressed that they were content with the Lucky Day Collection, eBooks, streaming media collection and the ability to place holds online
  • Some patrons suggested that they would like the library to purchase more copies of newly published books so they don't have to wait as long for holds


  • Most patrons indicated that they primarily find out about library events through the library's website or emails rather than social media or flyers

Public programming

  • Programming is not seen as the major interest for people who visit the library
  • The library is not widely seen as a primary provider of cultural or educational opportunities for the community

Customer Service

  • While there are mostly positive reviews for staff and customer service, some patrons feel that the library staff could be more consistent in their welcoming procedures
  • Some patrons feel uncomfortable about the large amount of homeless patrons who use they library
  • The changes in the fine procedures have been positive among most people who participated in the survey
  • Automatic renewal was positively reviewed by people who took the survey

Paige Stringham


Berkeley Public Library. [Photograph]. Retrieved from:

Warren, E. (2019). Executive Summary of Berkeley Public Library's 2019 Community Survey. Berkeley Public Library. Retrieved from:

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