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Storefront Library Data

as of January 17, 2010…

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books5000+ Books Donated

4300+ Books Shelved

4140 Books Cataloged

1374 Books Circulated (11 weeks of borrowing)

  • 54% Chinese

staff427 Hours Open to the Public (12 Weeks of operation)

1335.5 Hours of Volunteer Public Service

39 Volunteer Staff

2 Paid Staff

110 Events Produced

32 Programming Partners

card540 Storefront Library Cards Issued

Cardholders—How Learned about Storefront Library:

  • Walked by 43%
  • Newspaper 23%
  • Word of Mouth/Friend 21%
  • Community Agency 18%
  • Internet 3%
  • Other 8% (Teacher/School, Flyer)

Cardholders—Languages Spoken:

  • Cantonese 61%
  • English 44%
  • Mandarin 44%
  • Taishanese 17%
  • Vietnamese 3%
  • Spanish 2%
  • Other 3% (Japanese, German, Malay. Hokkien, Bengali, Persian, Pourtuguese, Greek, Russian, Sign)

Cardholders—Languages Read:

  • Chinese 52%
  • English 42%
  • Vietnamese 1%
  • Spanish 1%
  • Other 1% (Japanese, Malay, Bengali, Persian, Pourtuguese, Greek, Russian, Arabic, Sign)

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Who were our patrons?

Here’s a break-down of our patron data, obtained from Storefront Library Card applications and annotated with observations from Storefront Library Staff.

Patrons 61+

Percentage of total patron population: 18%
Sex:  49% Male, 51% Female
Race: 99% Asian/Asian American
Languages spoken: 64% Cantonese, 49% Mandarin, 32% English, 22% Taishanese*; 63% Chinese only **
Languages read: 96% Chinese, 44% English; 56% Chinese Only***
Geography: 48% Boston, 11% Chinatown
Top services/programs interested in: 71% Books in Chinese, 54% Books for Adults, 44% Magazines & Newspapers
How they heard about library: 51% Walked-by, 44% Newspaper
Points of note:
·        Majority of 61+ population is not from Chinatown. However, 51% of all 61+ patrons learned about the Storefront Library from walking by.  Older patrons are visiting and spending time in the neighborhood.  This reflects the reality of Boston’s Chinatown as a hub for Chinese Americans from the Metro Boston region.
·        This patron population has the lowest “from Boston” percentage.
·        This population tends to want “passive materials.” This may be a result of a lack of programming targeted for seniors on our part.
·        Only population to have almost equal proportions of males and females.
In-library observations:
·        Seniors are heavy consumers of the daily Chinese newspapers.
·        Table space for seniors is important. They tend to cluster at the conference table and spend time in the library, as opposed to completing a quick transaction.
·        Good lighting is especially important for this group.

Patrons 46-60

Percentage of total patron population: 22%
Sex:  26% Male, 74% Female
Race: 96% Asian/Asian American
Languages spoken: 78% Cantonese, 50% Mandarin, 33% English*; 64% Chinese-only
Languages read: 90% Chinese, 40% English; 60% Chinese-only***
Geography: 53% Boston, 17% Chinatown
Top services/programs interested in: 59% Books for Adults, 54% Books in Chinese, 43% English Conversation
How they heard about library: 39% Walked-by, 33% Community Agency, 30% Newspaper
Points of note:
·        This population is proportionally the largest of all patron groups.
·        Many from this population were introduced to Storefront Library through Chinatown community adult ed programs (eg BCNC English class).
·        English conversation programming is a natural fit for this population because of their working-age and the practical applications of English for enhancing the quality of their lives.
·        This population has the highest percentage of mono-lingual Chinese speakers and readers.
In-library observations:
·        This population is especially interested in community service resources as well.  21% of those interested in community resources fell in this age group.  This is a population that can be well-served with targeted programming about community resources such as job trainings, English classes, citizenship, public benefits etc.

Profile 35-45

Percentage of total patron population: 17%
Sex:  21% Male, 79% Female
Race: 89% Asian/ Asian American, 7% White
Languages spoken: 55% Cantonese, 45% English, 44% Mandarin, 23% Taishanese; 52% Chinese-only
Languages read: 65% Chinese, 41% English; 43% Chinese-only
Geography: 60% Boston, 24% Chinatown
Top services/programs interested in: 50% Storyhours, 44% Books in Chinese, 38% Books for adults, 33% English conversation
How they heard about library: 48% Walked-by, 25% Newspaper, 18% Community Agency
Points of note:
·        This population is represented by mothers with young children. Many regulars brought children back for Storyhour week after week.
In-library observations:
·        Bi-lingual storyhours were important because it involved parents in their child’s literacy. Parents also liked the Children’s Museum kits because they could do projects with their children
·        Opportunities exist for connecting this demographic to other community resources. Some came for Storyhour but migrated to HDOD.

Patrons 25-34

Percentage of total patron population: 18%
Sex:  26% Male, 74% Female
Race: 81% Asian/ Asian American, 13% Caucasian
Languages spoken: 48% Cantonese, 60% English, 49% Mandarin; 34% Chinese-only
Languages read:  51% Chinese, 55% English; 27% Chinese-only
Geography: 52% Boston, 10% Chinatown
Top services/programs interested in: 44% Books for adults, 41% Books in English, 40% Internet Access, 37% Books in Chinese
How they heard about library: 51% Walked-by, 26% word-of-mouth, 15% community agency
Points of note:
·        Of all groups, this group shows (through the survey) highest demand for passive space. For services most interested in: 33% Place to read; 33% Study space.
·        34% interested in community service resources, which is the highest of all demographics.
·        This population has the lowest percentage as being from Chinatown.
In-library observations:
·        Highest Caucasian population is within this demographic.
·        There was little library programming directly targeting this group, exception: Home Movie Day.

Patrons 18-24

Percentage of total patron population: 8%
Sex:  52% Male, 48% Female
Race: 86% Asian, 9% Caucasian, 3% Black/African-American
Languages spoken: 45% Cantonese, 61% English, 45% Mandarin; 26% Chinese-only
Languages read: 39% Chinese, 53% English; 21% Chinese-only
Geography: 68% Boston, 29% Chinatown
Top services/programs interested in: 51% Books in English, 49% Study Space, 43% Internet Access
How they heard about library: 55% Walked-by, 32% word-of-mouth
Points of note:
·        This population is the only demographic where Males form a higher percentage of the category.
In-library observations:
·        Less library programming was targeted to this group, but high demand for passive study space.

Patrons 13-17

Percentage of total patron population: 4%
Sex:  38% Male, 63% Female
Race: 89% Asian/ Asian American, 6% Caucasian, 6% Multiracial
Languages spoken: 83% Cantonese, 72% English, 28% Mandarin, 17% Taishanese; 28% Chinese-only
Languages read: 44% Chinese, 72% English; 7% Chinese-only
Geography: 61% Boston, 22% Chinatown
Top services/programs interested in: 50% Books in English, 44% Children’s/Teen Books, 28% Internet Access, Magazines & Newspapers, Books in Chinese
How they heard about library: 39% Walked-by, 28% word-of-mouth, 22% other (class)
Points of note:
·        This is the smallest percentage of the patron population.
In-library observations:
·        While Teen book section was quite strong, there were not that many new selections over the 3 months.
·        There was not very much library programming targeted at this group.
·        This population is geographically mobile; perhaps they are well-served by their school libraries, or by other Boston branches?
·        At the same time, 28% of this category did note an interest in Books in Chinese.

Patrons 12 & Under

Percentage of total patron population: 14%
Sex:  40% Male, 60% Female
Race: 82% Asian/Asian American, 8% Multi-racial, 5% Black/African American,
Languages spoken: 67% Cantonese, 52% English, 30% Mandarin; 45% Chinese-only
Languages read: 68% English, 34% Chinese; 6% Chinese-only
Geography: 89% Boston, 23% Chinatown
Top services/programs interested in: 70% Children’s/Teen Books, 46% Books in English, 39% Computer Access
How they heard about library: 34% Word-of-mouth, 25% Walked-by, 25% other (School and teachers)
Points of note:
·        This data set may say more about the parents (who filled out the form) than the children themselves.
·        This demographic is more multi-racial than any of the other demographics.
·        This group has the largest percentage who are from Boston (likely because many of these kids came through school trips)
In-library observations:
·        Certain book series extremely popular for “tweens.”
·        Storyhours were popular with the very young, but there were not many structured activities for those 8-12.

* Percentages may add up to over 100 because respondents can choose more than one option
*** Calculations for this metric hand-tabulated because of high number of n/a responses