State of American Libraries Report Released

The American Library Association released its 2011 State of American Libraries Report on April 11th. 

Even as budget-cutters take aim at libraries throughout the country, particularly at the state and local level, libraries are providing valuable services to increasing numbers of customers. These trends are documented in a nationwide poll commissioned by the American Library Association (ALA) as part of a Harris Interactive telephone omnibus study conducted in January with a cross-section of 1,012 adults. 

The Harris poll revealed that Americans value the democratic nature of libraries as places that level the playing field for all Americans in the provision of materials free of charge.

31% percent of adults –– and 38% of senior citizens –– rank the library at the top of their list of tax-supported services. Overall, the library’s most highly valued services pertain to the provision of free information and programs that promote education and lifelong learning. 

91% percent (up 5 percentage points from the previous year) place great value in the library’s provision of information for school and work.

And almost all Americans (93%) believe that it is important that library services are free. 

Read the press release for key findings. 

Read the full 2011 State of American Libraries Report for details.

Source: American Libraries Direct 4/13/2011

About the Author

Grace Cordial has been responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Beaufort District Collection at the Beaufort County Library since 1999.  The Beaufort District Collection exists to acquire, preserve, maintain and make accessible a research collection of permanent value which records the history, culture, and environment of our part of the South Carolina lowcountry.  Besides the research room, Cordial manages the “Virtual BDC:” the BDC web pages, the Online Obituary Index, two digital collections, a new BDC.BCL Facebook page, and the Connections blog.  
Among her duties is to coordinate or present programs about local history, Gullah culture, and our coastal environment, including occasional instructional sessions about how to perform historical and/or genealogical research.