A recent study of parents, children, libraries, and reading found that four in five (79%) parents of minor children (under age 18) stated that libraries were very important for their children. This number rose even higher for parents with children under the age of 6: 84% of these parents described libraries as very important. Nearly every parent in this study (97%) stated that it is important for libraries to offer programming for children and teens. According to parents, some of the top uses of the library by children were: book borrowing, work on school work, attend a library event, and use the internet. Other reasons for use included attending a library-sponsored book club and to socialize with friends. Additionally, parents of minor children are more likely to use library services than other adults. Parents attending the library with their children are also more likely to increase their own browsing, borrowing, and program attendance, as well as support innovation and advancement in the library. There are some library attendance differences among mothers and fathers, as well as some differences in use and opinion of the library among various economic backgrounds, however overall parents overwhelmingly agree that the library is an important place for their children.
Note: This post is part of our series, “The Weekly Number.” In this series, we highlight statistics that help tell the story of the 21st century library.