Parent Perception of Librarians Survey Results Released
The "Public Libraries and Book Bans - Parent Perception Survey" gathered insights from 1,527 parents and guardians with children under 18 in two surveys during October and November 2023. The surveys asked parents and guardians about their perception of librarians' trustworthiness as professionals and curators of a library collection. The results are detailed in a new report from EveryLibrary Institute and Book Riot.
Top-level findings are:
- An impressive 92% of parents, grandparents, and guardians trust librarians to curate appropriate books and materials.
- 90% of parents report being comfortable allowing their child to select their own materials and 96% feel their children are safe within the library.
- 83% agree that librarians know what books children would love; 77% agree that librarians are friendly and approachable; 77% agree that librarians make the library a place for fun and creativity; and 85% agree that librarians support children’s learning.
- 91% of parents and guardians say that they trust public librarians and 86% find school librarians trustworthy.
Parents are of mixed opinion on whether they think public librarians have a political agenda:
- Yes, and they should = 35%
- No, but they should = 9%
- Yes, and they should not = 12%
- No, and they should not = 44%
- 85% of parents report being satisfied or very satisfied with librarians
The survey results demonstrate that librarians in schools and public libraries are trusted by families of various backgrounds and income levels and are valued in society. Librarians are valued in society and are central to education and communities. They foster safe, engaging environments that support learning and creativity, with their expertise and warmth resonating deeply with parents nationwide.
"This survey shows how out-of-touch politically motivated book banning and censorship groups are," said John Chrastka, EveryLibrary Institute Executive Director. "Contrary to the narratives that so-called parent rights groups are advancing, parents across America value librarians' roles in our communities and our children's education. Pro-censorship groups do not represent the vast majority of parents or guardians in their beliefs about librarians, reading, education, and civil society."
"Book Riot is excited to continue collaborating with EveryLibrary Institute on this important project. This survey is the next step in our shared goal of championing literacy, supporting libraries and librarians, and learning about parental perceptions of the work that librarians do,” said Vanessa Diaz, Book Riot Managing Editor. “It's a natural extension of Kelly and Danika’s tireless efforts in spreading awareness of the state of censorship and books bans in the US, and we hope as ever that this research will both educate and be a catalyst for change."
"We are once again excited to partner with EveryLibrary on assessing and understanding parental perceptions of the public library," said Kelly Jensen from Book Riot. "This series of surveys further our knowledge on what libraries are doing right and allows us to see where and how we can advocate for better understanding the roles libraries play in the lives of the average person. We continue to be thrilled to see the vast majority of parents think that the public library is a safe place for their children."
Please review the complete survey findings at https://www.everylibraryinstitute.org/parent_perceptions_librarians_survey_2023. This survey is the second in a series of three focusing on parents and libraries. Please watch for additional surveys on perceptions of school libraries in the coming weeks.
About EveryLibrary Institute
The EveryLibrary Institute is a library think tank and professional network that is focused on improving and supporting the future of library funding in the United States and abroad. Our primary work is to create effective programs, original research, and relevant training programs that enable public libraries to serve their diverse communities and school libraries to create equity in education. Please visit everylibraryinstitute.org.
About Book Riot
Book Riot is North America's largest independent editorial book site, providing coverage of books, literature, and reading culture. With a dedicated team of contributors, Book Riot offers engaging content, recommendations, and discussions on various literary topics, including diverse and inclusive reading experiences. Please visit bookriot.com.