Walker Branch News

Walker Branch Library Building Survey Results




In February and March 2011, we offered a paper and an electronic survey to get feedback on the Walker Branch Library. 65 surveys were submitted. Of these, 54% came from Walker resi-dents and 15% from Grand Rapids. 31% came from "other" locales, such as Alpine Township, Georgetown, Cedar Springs and Sparta. Most of the respondents are in the age category of 30-54. 69% visit the library on a weekly basis with 25% visiting monthly. The average length of visits are usually less than 1 hour; however, a solid percentage (28) stay 1 to 3 hours. The ma-jority of visitors to the library come to use and/or check out material from the library collection, use the library computers, bring a child to the library, and attend a program. Around 40% of users stated that it is very easy to use the computers and to attend programs at the library. 85% of respondents indicated that the library currently is in a convenient location, although a few stated that the library could use some sort of distinction from the other city buildings to more easily identify it. While the majority of people come to the library by car (94%), many manu-ally submitted surveys indicated the use of bikes as well (people could only select one mode of transportation on the electronic survey).

Overall, our ratings for service points, collections, and amenities ranked excellent or good. Some exceptions include shelving space for materials, café/vending area, the book store, chil-dren’s program space, and places available for general reading and study areas, which were rated on the lower end.


Shelving Space

There were many comments which reflected that limited space equals a limited collec-tion. Shelves filled to the brim makes the library look crowded and cluttered.

Café/Vending Area

Having a café or vending area had the second highest number of responses we received . One person commented that sometimes she forgets to bring water or a snack with her so if she is doing a lot of studying she has to leave to get food and then come back and hope that her study space still is open.

Book Store

Staff and Friends members indicated that the Book Store space is small for the amount of donations received. There is a lack of space to store

donated materials, so a storage area for them would be beneficial.

Additional spaces for programs and storytimes would be a wonderful improvement. If the room is too crowded, some people choose not to come to programs. There are times throughout the year that we need to use the city chambers for larger, popular programs.

General Reading and Study Areas

With one open space, there is a lack of quiet areas. We could use more table space for studying and writing. Many of the available spaces are in high traffic zones. Small private study areas would be popular (one person mentioned the study rooms setup at the Plainfield branch).

Favorite Aspects of the Library:

Children’s programs

The Staff…the people who work at the library make it a special place

The sky light

Access to books, movies, CDs, and magazines

Displays of new books and special topics

Proximity to my home

Corner "reading room" area

It is a place I enjoy being at

The ability to check out books and bring my kids to get books

Least Favorite Aspects of the Library:

Larger library would have space for more things for people to borrow

Space in front of the CD collection is tight/crowded—hard to browse

It is very cramped and the hours are odd

Small room for holds items

Chaos caused by the loud talking and unruly kids, use of cell phones should be outlawed

Book drop location, lack of quiet area/room

Slow computers

Computer station setup

Crowded children’s area



In conjunction with the multi-question survey, staff created a display in the library titled "Dream A Little Dream." We asked customers to jot down one thing they would like to see in their library. The responses were plentiful! Here are the most popular answers :





Comfortable Seating


Outdoor reading spot

Drive thru drop off

Fix roof so we don’t get snow, ice or rain drops on our heads


More Wii games

More books

More children’s movies


DVD cleaner

More computers

Laptop checkouts

Fax machine


More snacks to buy


Less loud people

1-2 day grace period for checkins



We found most people visit the Walker Branch Library on a weekly basis. They bring their children, use and/or check out materials, attend programs, and use library computers. Our cus-tomers multi-task at this library and are looking for the conveniences to make this possible. While we offer a wonderful selection of materials, 9 public internet computers, and hundreds of library programs, comments from the surveys reflect the need for more materials and shelving, as well as more program and study space. I was thrilled that the majority think the library is located in an easily accessible location. There are sidewalks and trails that are being used for people to come to the library, and new residents to the city come to the City Offices and are de-lighted to find the library right close by. However, since the exterior of the library looks the same as the other buildings in the City Complex and is set back from the road, it tends to get lost in the crowd. By implementing something to make the library more of a flagship building, many possibilities can be incorporated to make it easier for future customers to find the library and for the building to stand out without sacrificing the cohesive look of the complex.

The people who come to this library are proud of it, the staff, and the services KDL provides. They recognize that we use the space to maximum capacity, but see areas we could do more to meet their needs.


Incorporate more plants inside the library

Purchase updated end tables and chairs

Create an outdoor reading spot

The possibility of providing checkouts of laptops

Walker Branch Library Building Survey


Children’s Program Space

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