Whitesburg KY

Kentucky citizens like their libraries

Kentucky public libraries are the most highly regarded local government service, according to a recent independent survey of Kentuckians.

In addition, more than 95 percent of Kentuckians surveyed agree that public libraries are a good investment of tax dollars.

A survey of 600 Kentuckians by the University of Kentucky Survey Research Center sponsored by the Kentucky Public Library Association indicates that Kentuckians place a high value on local public libraries. The telephone survey conducted Sept. 6 – Oct. 13 represents citizens from every county.

The research shows that nine out of 10 people view Kentucky’s public libraries as a key educational asset in the community, while more than eight out of 10 agree that public libraries improve communities.

Among six services provided by local government, Kentucky’s public libraries rank at the top with nearly 86 percent giving public libraries an A or B grade when asked to rate the quality of libraries’ services. The second highest ranking is police services at 75 percent.

Currently more than 2 million Kentuckians have public library cards, according to Wayne Onkst, state librarian and commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives (KDLA). Kentucky has 116 public libraries serving 118 counties.

During fiscal year 2006, more than 31,500 people received computer training in the state’s public libraries. The survey shows that if more funds were available for public libraries, about one in three Kentuckians would like to see more computers made available for users.

In fiscal year 2006, nine times as many people entered Kentucky public libraries as attended men’s and women’s basketball and football games at the University of Kentucky, University of Louisville, Kentucky State University, Eastern Kentucky University, Western Kentucky University and Morehead State University combined.

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