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New Pew Report Explores the Value of Public Libraries

2013 December 18
by Katherine Adelberg

Pew Internet and American Life Project logoThe holidays are a time of year when we think a lot about what is important and valued – family, friends, the simple joys in life. Well, the folk over at the Pew Internet & American Life Project are also taking a look at what people value – about public libraries!

Per the latest Pew report How Americans Value Public Libraries in Their Communities, Americans strongly value the role of public libraries, both for providing access to materials and resources and for promoting literacy and improving the overall quality of life. Most Americans say they have only had positive experiences at public libraries, and value a range of library resources and services.

Additionally, the 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.

The report also looks at the services that are seen as most important to the public, how often library services are used, and shows users awareness levels about library services. Visit the report web pages for a summary of findings, and for links to the full report.

The Pew Internet & American Life Project is an initiative of the Pew Research Center, a nonprofit “fact tank” that provides information on the issues, attitudes, and trends shaping America. The Pew Internet Project explores the impact of the internet on children, families, and communities.




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