EveryLibrary Institute and BookRiot Releases Findings From “Public Libraries and Book Bans – Parent Perception Survey”
From an EveryLibrary Release:
The “Public Libraries and Book Bans – Parent Perception Survey” gathered insights from 853 parents and guardians with children under 18 during September 2023. The survey asked parents and guardians to share their experiences and opinions about book bans, their trust in libraries and their understanding of librarians’ book selection process, and their feelings on sensitive subjects in children’s books, such as sex, LGBTQ+ characters and themes, race, and social justice issues in reading and literature. The survey results are detailed in a new report from EveryLibrary Institute and Book Riot.
Top-level findings are:
- 67% of respondents agree or somewhat agree that “banning books is a waste of time”.
- 74% agree or somewhat agree that book bans infringe on their right to make decisions for their children (42% agree; 32% somewhat agree).
- 92% of all respondents say that they feel their child/children are safe at the library.
- 58% think librarians should be primarily responsible for what books are selected in the public library.
- 57% say that reading opens children up to new ideas, new people, and new perspectives, and 44% say that teens should have access to books on controversial subjects and themes.
- 43% report that their local library has age restrictions on children’s library card borrowing privileges;19% report that there are no restrictions on the child’s card; and 37% are unsure.
- A majority of respondents (53%) do not know how librarians decide what books should be in a library collection.
- A supermajority (66%) of respondents said ‘no’ when asked if a book that their child checked out made them (the parent) uncomfortable; 67% said ‘no’ when asked if their child has ever been uncomfortable with a book they checked out.
- Parents and guardians are more comfortable with a child accessing age-appropriate children’s books related to “social justice” and “race/racism” than they are with a child accessing age-appropriate children’s books related to “LGBTQ+ characters” and “puberty and sexual education”
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.