ERIC Number: ED363358
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993
Reference Count: N/A
The Roles of the Public Library in Society: The Results of a National Survey. Final Report [and] Appendix.
National samples of the general public (n=1,001) and community opinion leaders (n=300) were asked to evaluate the importance to their communities of 10 different roles of the public library. Respondents evaluated each role in terms of its importance to their communities. Survey results indicate that the public library's roles to support the educational aspirations of the community in general and the learning/discovery needs of preschoolers, students, and adult independent learners in perticular were evaluated most highly by the general public and community opinion leaders. Subsequent national surveys of African Americans (n=401) and Hispanic Americans (n=399) enabled comparison with a subsample of Caucasian Americans (n=846) and demonstrated the highest percentages of "very important" responses for all three groups for the three educational roles of the public library. All groups suggested levels of support for libraries that were well above the actual national median in 1990. Detailed comparisons of the role evaluations by the various demographic groups within each of the samples are presented to enable libraries or branches to generate a tentative set of roles based on its community demographics. These findings are presented in 123 tables. A separately bound appendix describes survey methodology, presents the questionnaire, and contains the frequency distributions for the responses from each survey. (SLD)
Descriptors: Adults, Attitudes, Blacks, Children, Community Leaders, Comparative Analysis, Demography, Educational Objectives, Elementary Secondary Education, Higher Education, Hispanic Americans, Library Role, Library Services, National Surveys, Public Libraries, Public Opinion, Questionnaires, Tables (Data), Use Studies, User Needs (Information), Whites
Urban Libraries Council, 1800 Ridge Avenue, Suite 208, Evanston, IL 60201.
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Media Staff; Practitioners
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Gallup Organization, Inc., Princeton, NJ.; Minnesota Univ., Minneapolis. Carlson School of Management.; Minnesota Univ., Minneapolis. Center for Survey Research.