By the time the new year rolled around, the city’s public libraries were packed, ready to get back to their normal business of being a place to read.
But there was one problem: they were packed with people.
It all started with a simple request.
The city’s Public Library System had been planning for a massive increase in the number of people who would visit the libraries in the coming years.
To make sure that they could accommodate this influx, the library system had commissioned a survey of its users.
The result of the survey, released this past February, found that nearly 40 percent of people in Portland were currently on public transit, compared with 29 percent in 2016.
And yet, when the library survey was published in May, it also found that only 21 percent of Portlanders actually had access to a public library.
The library system is not alone in having to contend with a surge in visitors, though.
A number of cities and counties are grappling with the same issue.
Some cities are facing a massive backlog of books and libraries are seeing their revenues decline.
A recent report from the Pew Charitable Trusts found that the number and size of books that are being added to libraries across the country is “unprecedented” and is expected to continue to rise.
“This is a problem that is not unique to Portland,” said Jennifer Johnson, a Portland Public Library executive director.
“This is happening across the nation.”
The number of Portlandians on public transportation is growing rapidly and in some cases it’s going up at an unprecedented rate, according to a new report from Pew Charitrust.
The report found that in cities like Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, New York, Washington D.C., and San Francisco, the proportion of people on public transport has grown by nearly 50 percent over the last decade.
The report also found the number one factor behind that growth has been an increase in people who are taking public transit.
While public transit has been growing in popularity over the past decade, its popularity has been much higher among those who are older.
In a poll released earlier this month by the Pew Research Center, more than 80 percent of Americans ages 18 to 29 said they use public transit at least occasionally.
The study also found a similar pattern for people who have jobs.
While the number on public employment has grown in recent years, the percentage of people employed has remained constant.
And, for the first time in the Pew survey, only 22 percent of working Americans said they have access to public transit to get around.
It’s unclear what the next wave of book lovers will look like, Johnson said.
She said the city needs to continue expanding the types of books available to the public and that they should all be available for free.
“If we’re going to continue growing, we need to get more accessible,” she said.
“We need to make sure we’re creating a place where people can go and enjoy books.”
In Portland, there are a lot of options.
The public library is open on Mondays through Fridays, and the city has a number of free bookstores, including one in the heart of downtown.
It also has an online library, which is open to all.
But some libraries are open on Saturdays and Sundays.
Johnson said she wants the city to continue using its libraries as a way to get people outside of Portland and to keep the library culture alive.
“Our libraries are the heartbeat of the city,” she told me.
“They are where we meet.
They are where people talk.
They’re where we learn.
They create connections and that’s why we love them.”