Wednesday, December 11, 2013

How Americans Value Public Libraries

New information was released today (12/11/13) on the public's view of the importance of libraries by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.  This survey called “How Americans Value Public Libraries in Their Communities” shows that Americans strongly value the role of public libraries in their communities, both for providing access to materials and resources and for promoting literacy and improving the overall quality of life.
Some of the Projects findings include:
  • 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;
  • 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.
  • 56% of internet users without home access say public libraries’ basic technological resources (such as computers, internet, and printers) are “very important” to them and their family, compared with 33% of all respondents.
  • 49% of unemployed and retired respondents say they librarian assistance in finding information to be “very important,” compared with 41% of employed respondents.
  • 47% of job seekers say help finding or applying for a job is “very important” to them and their families.
  • 94% said that based on their own experiences, they would say that “public libraries are welcoming, friendly place.”

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