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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Monday, June 11, 2018

Bethlehem Tp Survey Favors Library

Should Bethlehem Tp continue its participation in the Bethlehem Area Public Library? According to a survey recently conducted by National Citizen Survey, the answer is Yes. When Township Commissioners learned that the state Library Code prevents a referendum, they opted to gauge public opinion on the library and other issues through a $14,265 survey conducted by the National Research Center. Close to 500 responses were received in a questionnaire that went to 1,500 families. The results are available on the Township's Internet dashboard.

The big question, at least for Commissioners, was how residents feel about the Township's annual contribution to the Bethlehem Area Public Library, which was $416,000 in 2017. The Yes vote won, 57% (271) to 43% (204). But 280 respondents agreed that the Township should end its relationship if it could offer the same services itself for the same or less money. Forty-five percent of those responding are card-crying members, but only four per cent visit the library twice a week or more. Sixty-one per cent do not visit at all.

Overall quality of life in the Township is ranked very high, at 89%. Their chief complaints are traffic flow on the major roads and flooding. Township services, especially firefighters and police, are ranked very high. But only 45% of those surveyed think that the Township government welcomes citizen involvement. Only a slight majority (55%) have overall confidence in Township government.

Though Housenick Memorial Park and the Archibald Johnston mansion have dominated meetings for years, 68% of those responding never heard of it. Yet 60% of those responding would restore the mansion at this park.

The survey also shows a citizenry that has little interest in its own government. Only three per cent of those responding have been at a township meeting in the past year, and only five percent bother to read the agenda or minutes. Only 28% consider the local newspaper a source of information about the Township.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Google killed the library....How 'bout a Starbuck's with free wifi?