January 23, 2020

What Do Patrons Like About Essex Library?

A father takes his two children to the Essex Library

ESSEX – The Essex Library joined with 89 other libraries in Connecticut in April to ask people why the library was important to them and to count how the library is used in just one day.

“It’s my connection to information and my community. I love the staff!” Maureen Heher said.

Many people said they considered the library as something of a community center, where they can not only find books to read and listen to, a collection of newspapers and magazines to browse and movies to watch but meet other people. “In a small town, the library is the heart,” said one person.

“It’s our second home!” Diane Gawronski said. “We borrow books, DVDs, use the computer, browse the books! And enjoy programs and art work and sometimes do research.”

In Essex, people they used the library in these ways:

  • Check out an item — 56
  • Attend a program — 40
  • Quiet place to study – 17
  • Use a computer — 22
  • Attend a meeting – 23
  • Job help –5
  • Research — 24
  • Get a library card –18
  • Other – 12

These numbers may surprise people who think of the library as a place just to check out a book. Statewide in just one day:

  • 55,862 people walked through the doors of 90 Connecticut libraries
  • 56,573 books, movies and more were borrowed
  • 717 new borrowers were registered
  • 6,063 reference questions were answered
  • 9,422 people used computers
  • 478 programs/classes were offered
  • 8,520 people attended programs/classes
  • 116,965 people visited Connecticut library websites

Many people think of the library as a place for children. In Essex that is one popular reason. “We love the children’s department and Miss Jessica and Miss Shawn,” Cathy Nankee said.

“It has so many free and safe activities for the children, Jeni Gray Roberts said. “It helps foster a love of learning and ease with books at an early age.”

But many adults use the library as well. It has “nice people, fast computers, [a] great selection of newspapers,” Chris Kent said.

Someone who has a long commute found another good purpose for the library: “I take out many audiobooks. I drive a lot and listen to them. They are very expensive to buy.”

And Larry Messier said, “To me it’s a great place to do research, study, meet other people and just relax after a long day.”

From all the comments on surveys people filled out, they appear to love the library. As Todd Jones said, “Essex Library is fantastic! The employees are helpful and offer many suggestions. Having a place to read, study, research, utilize technology and borrow materials for free is an awesome feeling. Our library is a great place to learn.”