ST. JOSEPH — The St. Joseph library wants to know why you haven’t stopped in lately.

An online survey, launched last month, is seeking to find out what regular patrons (and non-patrons) think about the materials, programs and community space available at the library, Director Stephanie Masin said.

“We really want to find out why some people don’t use the library,” she said.

Are these people buying their own books, or is it that they don’t know everything the library has to offer, Masin asked.

“We think it’s a great resource,” Masin said of the library at 500 Market St. This is the first such survey conducted during her nine-year tenure as director.

The survey can be accessed on the library’s website,, and the city of St. Joseph has a link on its website. The survey will run until the first week in October.

The survey takes about 10 minutes to complete, and asks what residents use (and don’t use) at the library. That information will be shared with the library board and be used to determine how to use funding.

One question is what should be invested in the 50-year old building, Masin said, and whether residents think it’s the right place for a library.

According to comments from patrons, parking is the biggest barrier to visiting the library, especially during the summer, the director said. Parking complaints are common throughout downtown, she said.

Apparently, the library is doing something right, she commented, with thousands coming through the doors each month. The summer reading program was “very well-attended” by all age groups, Masin said, and the library is among the top lenders of electronic books.

So far around 200 people have taken the survey, and library staff would like to have at least 300 respondents, Masin said.

If needed, computers are available at the library to take the survey, and staff members will provide assistance. Masin and others also will be gathering input in the community.

If having your say isn’t incentive enough, those who complete the survey can sign up for a drawing for a $50 Amazon gift card.

Contact:, 932-0360, Twitter: @HPMatuszak