The Big Love Affair - Parents and Libraries
The recent findings from the Pew Research Center funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates on libraries have been fascinating reading. And now, my youth services friends, it is our turn to have the research spotlight turned on our efforts.
As reported May 1, " 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." (emphasis mine)
In this brief synopsis of findings from the full report parents view libraries as vital to their children's reading and information needs. And - no surprise to us frontliners -these same parents are far more likely to use other library services and to express interest in expanding services and adding tech-related services.
I have had conversations over the years with colleagues in which we express frustration over the lack of support for youth services from our administrations, boards and even our co-workers in other areas of the library. This is the strongest piece of research we've seen in a while that underscores what we know - parents who use the library are vitally interested in its services not just for kids but for themselves.
When we see and serve families we are also drawing in these parents for all other adult services as well. These twenty and thirty somethings are a sweet spot demographic that some libraries embrace and some puzzle over. But they are ready for us.
I'll be highlighting this study at my library and in my workshops and presentations and sharing with my colleagues where I work. I hope you will too.
Thanks to Digital Shift for the heads up.