EveryLibrary Releases Final Report on Parent Perceptions Survey & New Whitepaper on Demographics of Book Bans Released
The Parents’ Perception Survey Series, developed in conjunction with Book Riot, the largest independent editorial book site in North America, is the final report in a three-part series detailing the findings of national surveys of parents about their perceptions of libraries and librarians during the current book ban crisis. This report gathered insights from 3,206 parents and guardians with children under 18 across three surveys between September and November 2023. The surveys asked parents and guardians about their perception of librarians’ trustworthiness as professionals and curators of a library collection and their attitudes toward books and book bans.
Top-level findings from the Parents Perception Report are:
- 85% of respondents say they trust librarians.
- 58% of parents think public librarians should be primarily responsible for what books are selected for the public library as opposed to elected officials, library boards, or parent groups.
- 92% of respondents say libraries are safe spaces for their children.
- 75% of respondents do not believe their libraries are experiencing book bans.
- 67% of respondents feel that book bans infringe on their rights to make decisions for their children.
- 75% of respondents report that neither they nor their child have checked out a book from the library that they felt was inappropriate.
- 63% of respondents agree or somewhat agree that “banning books is a waste of time” at the public library.
- 57% of respondents say banning books from the school library is an appropriate way to prevent children from learning about certain topics.
- 80% of respondents agree that “school libraries should have content rating systems.
- 95% of respondents want to see a school library in their child’s school.
In the new “Demographics of Book Bans” whitepaper, the EveryLibrary Institute analyzes the characteristics of towns, cities, counties, and school districts experiencing high instances of book ban and censorship activity in public libraries or school libraries. The key demographics of these “book ban communities” are that they are predominantly white areas with higher income, education levels, homeownership rates, and higher employment rates than the median. The data indicates that book bans happen in both Republican and Democrat-leaning areas but are predominantly in Republican areas.
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About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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.