Autumn on Lake Audobon

Autumn on Lake Audobon
Autumn on Lake Audubon, Photo by Alison Kamat

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Latest Pew research shows Americans believe libraries are important to their communities

In light of the continuing battle to save Fairfax County's public libraries from a disgraceful debasement by its own  director, starting with Reston Regional Library as a "beta test" guinea pig, we thought it important to share this latest Pew Research Center report on "How American Value Public Libraries in Their Communities."  The following comes from the announcement of the study's release:
Some 90% of Americans ages 16 and older said that the closing of their local public library would have an impact on their community, with 63% saying it would have a “major” impact. Asked about the personal impact of a public library closing, two-thirds (67%) of Americans said it would affect them and their families, including 29% who said it would have a major impact.
Moreover, the vast majority of Americans ages 16 and older say that public libraries play an important role in their communities:
  • 95% of Americans ages 16 and older agree that the materials and resources available at public libraries play an important role in giving everyone a chance to succeed;
  • 95% say that public libraries are important because they promote literacy and a love of reading;
  • 94% say that having a public library improves the quality of life in a community;
  • 81% say that public libraries provide many services people would have a hard time finding elsewhere. . .
Over half (54%) of Americans ages 16 and older have used a public library in some way in the past 12 months, whether by visiting in person or using a public library website:
  • 81% of Americans ages 16 and older have visited a public library or bookmobile at one point or another in their lives; 48% of Americans have done so in the past 12 months, down from 53% in 2012.
  • 44% of those ages 16 and older have visited a public library website; 30% of Americans have done so in the past 12 months, up from 25% in 2012.
Additionally, among parents with minor children living at home, 70% say that a child in the house has visited a public library or bookmobile in the past 12 months.
Taken together, this means that 72% of all Americans ages 16 and older have either used a public library in the past 12 months or live in a household where another family member or a child is an active recent user of the library. . . .
Click on the link above to access the full Pew report.  

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