10 Reasons to Dust Off Your Library Card

In honor of National Library Week (April 13-19), we’ve collected the top 10 reasons you should hightail it to your local branch. Not only will it make you smarter, it will improve your quality of life, save you a bundle of money, and it might even help you find a new job. On second thought, maybe you should also hug the librarian while you’re in there. Celebrate National Library Week with us by posting your own #LibraryLoveLetter on Twitter or Instagram!

SFPL Marina

1. According to the Pew Research Center, 95% of Americans ages 16 and older agree that the materials and resources available at public libraries play an important role in giving everyone a chance to succeed.

2. 95% of Americans believe public libraries are important because they promote literacy and a love of reading.

3. 94% say that having a public library improves the quality of life in a community, and 81% agree that public libraries provide many services people would have a hard time finding elsewhere.

SPFL Richmond Branch

4. 94% of parents say libraries are important for their children and 84% of parents of young children (under 6) describe libraries as “very important.”

5. 88% of low-income parents (households earning less than $50,000 a year) believe it is very important that libraries offer free access to computers/internet.

6. Almost 89% of public library outlets now offer wireless Internet access, and more than 92% of public libraries provide services for job seekers.

tomales library association

7. More than 44 million college students received help from academic librarians each year. 32 million attend a NCAA basketball game. College libraries receive less than three cents of every dollar spent on higher education. Division I colleges spend six times as much on athletics per athlete as on academics per student, with the ratio exceeding 12 times in the Southeastern Conference, home of the last seven NCAA national champions in football.

8. 81% of parents agree that libraries are important because they provide their children with information and resources not available at home. And 71% also say a major reason libraries are important is that libraries are a safe place for children.

9. Americans spend over 18 times as much money on home video games ($18.6 billion) as they do on school library materials ($1 billion).

10. At least we can sleep better tonight knowing that there are more public libraries in the U.S. than McDonald’s—or Starbucks.

For more on the science behind the numbers, visit the Pew Internet’s ongoing study of Libraries in the Digital Age.

P.S. ¿Dónde está la biblioteca?

Guinevere de la Mare
Senior Community Manager

Guinevere de la Mare

Guinevere de la Mare

Guinevere de la Mare is a writer, book lover, and the founder of Silent Book Club. She lives in San Francisco. She also was the senior community manager at Chronicle Books from 2009-2014.
Guinevere de la Mare

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