Study reveals voter perceptions of libraries

ballot box image

OCLC, the American Library Association (ALA) and its Public Library Association (PLA) division partnered to investigate current perceptions and support among US voters and how they may have shifted since 2008 when OCLC published From Awareness to Funding: A Study of Library Support in America, a national study of the awareness, attitudes, and underlying motivations among US voters for supporting library funding. The summary report and infographics can be found at https://www.oclc.org/research/awareness-to-funding-2018.html

The 2018 survey was again conducted by Leo Burnett USA, repeating questions and segmentation analysis from the original study, to allow for comparison with 2008 results. Key findings include:
• a majority of U.S. voters believe public libraries are essential to communities and a source of civic pride;
• voters still highly value traditional library services such as free access to books and quiet areas, but also increasingly value the library as a community hub.
• There continues to be a disconnect between the services libraries offer and public awareness and support for those services;
• although a majority of voters are likely to support library funding at the local ballot box, fewer are committed to definite support than a decade ago; and
• a majority of voters still do not realize that the primary source of library funding is local.

A free webinar is offered on April 17 to discuss the report. Details follow:

Voter Perceptions of Libraries: Getting From Awareness to Funding in 2018
Tuesday, April 17, 2018, 3:00 – 4:00 pm ET (1-2 p.m. MST)
Hosted by WebJunction, this free webinar presents the results of a new study investigating voter perceptions and support for public libraries, with comparisons to similar research conducted 10 years ago.

Register at https://www.webjunction.org/events/webjunction/voter-perceptions-of-libraries.html.