Pew Research: Majority of Americans Value Public Libraries

Most Americans value their public libraries and they would like to see new services, such as help in providing digital literacy for children and senior citizens, according to the results of a recent Pew Research Center survey.

Sixty-four percent of survey participants said closing their local public libraries would have a major impact in their communities. And yet, there is a decrease in library visits—46 percent said they visited a library or book mobile in the past 12 months, down from 48 percent in 2013 and 53 percent in 2012. The survey was conducted among 2,004 Americans, ages 16 and older, from March to April 2015.

Here are some of the highlights of the survey results:

  • 85 percent say libraries should offer early literacy programs that will help young children prepare for school.
  • 85 percent would like to see closer coordination between libraries and local schools in providing resources to children.
  • 78 percent say libraries should offer programs that teach people, including children and senior citizens, how to use computers, smartphones, and other digital tools.
  • 76 percent would like to see programs that teach patrons about online security and privacy.
  • 74 percent would like programs for active military personnel and veterans.

You can read more about the survey findings here.