Released: December 11, 2013

Do libraries matter? 94 percent of Americans say libraries make life better

A plurality of Americans may not regularly use their local library – but they strongly value the role of the public library nonetheless.

That’s according to a new report by Pew Research Center that surveyed Americans on their use of and attitudes toward the public library.

During the past year some 54 percent of respondents used a public library – down from 59 percent in 2012. But the majority of respondents – 94 percent – said having a public library improves the quality of life in a community. And 90 percent said that if their local public library closed, it would have an impact on their community, with 63 percent saying it would have a “major” impact.

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