Odis Jones is an urban planning professional who most recently served as the CEO of the Public Lighting Authority in Detroit, Michigan. As a corollary to his work, Odis Jones belongs to the International City Management Association.
The International City Management Association strives to foster excellence in local governments around the world. Its members are government leaders and the professionals who advance local government and better cities of all sizes.
The Association recently released a study that reaffirms the importance of public libraries in cities. In one survey, citizens were asked to rank their library’s role in achieving important community goals. Respondents in this survey considered their library to be highly influential in many crucial areas, particularly regarding access to the Internet, early education, and digital literacy.
Approximately 53 percent of government stakeholders polled believe that their public libraries receive adequate funding. This figure rises when libraries have a governing relationship with their city, which tends to be more common in cities larger than 100,000 people.
The International City Management Association hopes to use this information to make better use of public libraries and to improve their potential to engage residents and strengthen local communities.