Released: December 11, 2013

Libraries Still Inspire Positive Views, But See Shift to Online from In-Person Use

Fifty-four percent of Americans visited a library in person or used a public library’s website at least once during the past 12 months, and 70 percent of parents have taken their child to a public library or bookmobile during the past year, according to “How Americans Value Public Libraries in Their Communities,” a report released today by the Pew Research Center. The nationally representative survey of 6,224 Americans 16 and older indicated that the overwhelming majority of Americans continue to have a positive view of libraries, although many are not aware of all of the services and resources that their libraries offer.


“Throughout our work, we’ve found that Americans value public libraries not only for the access to information they offer through books, databases, and internet connections, but also their assistance in finding and navigating the increasing amount of information that is available,” Kathryn Zickuhr, Research Associate at the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project and lead author of the report, wrote in a summary. “And even people who don’t rely on public libraries as much in their own lives say they value libraries as important resources for the community at large.”

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