Tuesday, July 21, 2015

All Those Techies Who Predicted the Demise of the Public Library Were Wrong

Americans still love libraries more than any other public institution.

The following was written by author Wayne Wiegand as a compliment to his new book, Part of Our Lives: A People's History of the American Public Library (Oxford University Press, 2015)

Indisputable fact--Americans love their public libraries. Evidence to support this statement abounds. A 2013 report by the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project noted that in the previous decade “every other major institution (government, churches, banks, corporations) has fallen in public esteem except libraries, the military, and first responders.” The study also found that 91% of those surveyed over sixteen years old said libraries are “very” or “somewhat” important to their communities, and 98% identified their public library experience as “very” or “mostly positive.”

Another Pew study found 94% of parents believe libraries are important for their children; 84% said because libraries develop a love of reading and books. Read more...

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