During the last full week of September, a polling firm wants to make sure we know it’s Library Card Sign-Up Month.
Even though National Library Week is in April. Who decides these things?
But if you haven’t ventured into your local book lender in years, you might be surprised to learn just how popular they still are. Harris Interactive asked more than 2,300 adults whether they had a library card and how satisfied they are with libraries. The results…
- Exactly two-thirds of Americans are “very” or “extremely” satisfied with their local library, up from 59 percent in 2008
- Most Americans (64 percent) have library cards, but women are more likely to (71 percent) than men (57 percent)
- The more education you have, the more likely you are to have a library card
- 78 percent of those with library cards have used them in the past year, and 18 percent have done so at least every other week — 26 times or more
- 61 percent of parents with kids under 18 have used the library six or more times in the last year
- By and large, people are still going for physical books (56 percent) rather than movies (24 percent) or digital content (15 percent)
Those seem like pretty positive stats, since Americans expect a lot out of libraries. The study also says a majority of Americans think libraries should be “a valuable education resource,” “a pillar of the community,” “a community center,” “a cultural center,” “a family destination,” and “an entertainment resource.”
We’re certainly not surprised to hear that libraries are regaining popularity, especially among parents with young children. We wrote in April that modern libraries offer everything from 3D printing to job coaching and tech classes. Today’s libraries teach fun, practical skills for free. And often with free Wi-Fi, they offer a quieter, cheaper hangout than Starbucks.