Pew Study: Parents, Children, Libraries, and Reading

May 1, 2013

The Pew Research Center finds that the vast majority of parents with children under the age of 18 find libraries very important for kids.

Summary of Findings

The vast majority of parents of minor children — children younger than 18 — feel libraries are very important for their children. That attachment carries over into parents’ own higher-than-average use of a wide range of library services.1

The ties between parents and libraries start with the importance parents attach to the role of reading in their children’s lives. Half of parents of children under age 12 (50%) read to their child every day and an additional 26% do so a few times a week. Those with children under age 6 are especially keen on daily reading with their child: 58% of these parents read with their child every day and another 26% read multiple times a week with their children.

The importance parents assign to reading and access to knowledge shapes their enthusiasm for libraries and their programs:

  • 94% of parents say libraries are important for their children and 79% describe libraries as “very important.” That is especially true of parents of young children (those under 6), some 84% of whom describe libraries as very important.
  • 84% of these parents who say libraries are important say a major reason they want their children to have access to libraries is that libraries help inculcate their children’s love of reading and books.
  • 81% say a major reason libraries are important is that libraries provide their children with information and resources not available at home.
  • 71% also say a major reason libraries are important is that libraries are a safe place for children.

Almost every parent (97%) says it is important for libraries to offer programs and classes for children and teens.

Read the whole study here: libraries.pewinternet.org

If you have a question about this or any other article, please contact us at statelibrary@wyo.gov

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