Children’s Summer Library Use

Children’s use of public libraries during the summer after kindergarten is affected by household socio-economic status (SES) and the availability of a neighborhood library, according to a new Issue Brief from the National Center for Education Statistics.1 Children from low SES households2 were less likely than other children to:

  • participate in reading events at libraries or bookstores;
  • visit parks, museums, zoos, and historic sites;
  • attend concerts or plays;
  • go on vacation; and
  • attend camp.

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  1. National Center for Education Statistics (September 2004). The Summer After Kindergarten: Children’s Activities and Library Use by Household Socioeconomic Status. Accessed 9/14/2004 at  
  2. Household socioeconomic status (SES) is a composite variable used in the ECLS-K study. It is based on parental education, parental occupation, and household income in spring 1999. Low SES and High SES are the bottom and top 20% of the variable’s distribution. Middle SES is the middle 60%. See ECLS-K, Base Year Public-Use Data File, Kindergarten Class of 1998-99: Data Files and Electronic Code Book; (Child, Teacher, School Files): User’s Manual at section 7.4.2, page 7-8 for details.  


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This project is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

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