librarian_trustworthiness

Image credit: Maine State Library

A recent survey by the Maine State Library shows that librarians are the second most trusted professionals out of the 22 professions studied. The purpose of this research was to determine the perceived trustworthiness of librarians compared to other professions and to assess perceptions of librarians across demographic groups.

When asked about their perceptions of trustworthiness, more than three-quarters of respondents (78%) rated librarians as “very high” or “high.” The only profession viewed as more trustworthy is nursing; 4 in 5 respondents (81%) rated nurses as highly trustworthy. Five other professions received either “very high” or “high” ratings from at least half of the respondents. These include pharmacists (74%), medical doctors (68%), high school teachers (59%), police officers (59%), and clergy (54%). The least trusted positions include stockbrokers (9%), lobbyists (4%), advertisers (3%), members of Congress (3%), car salespeople (2%), and telemarketers (2%).

The survey also revealed that more highly educated respondents were more likely to give the most trusted professions a higher rating. For example, 3 in 5 respondents (60%) with a high school education or less rated librarians as trustworthy, while about 4 in 5 of those with some college (78%) or a four-year college degree or more (85%) rated librarians as trustworthy. Respondents with a yearly income between $50,000 and $100,000 were most likely to trust librarians, with more than 4 in 5 (85%) rating librarians as trustworthy. About three-quarters of respondents with an income of less than $50,000/year (73%) and above $100,000/year (75%) perceive librarians to be trustworthy.

The full report can be found here.

Note: This post is part of our series, “The LRS Number.” In this series, we highlight statistics that help tell the story of the 21st-century library.