The importance of libraries: Insight from the Kids & Family Reading Report

Michael Barrett  //  Apr 5, 2017

The importance of libraries: Insight from the Kids & Family Reading Report

What was your first, great memory visiting your school or public library?

For many of us, this was the first time we found our favorite book series or when we discovered the power of choice when reading for fun. 

According the latest research from the Kids & Family Reading Report95% of parents agree "every child deserves to have a school library" and 95% of parents also agree "every community needs to have a public library.

In obeservance of School Library Month, we are celebrating librarians – as they always have great book resources – especially for the upcoming summer break and reluctant readers any time of year.

I asked the On Our Minds team to provide their favorite library memory that helped them become lifelong readers: 

: "Some of my favorite childhood memories at school are moments when I got to spend time at my school’s beautiful library which was full of books and big windows, creating an idyllic setting for reading. On Fridays, our teacher would have us visit the library as a class to pick out books and bring them home to read over the weekend. Whenever I have the chance, I love to go back and visit!"

Brittany: "The library at my elementary school was my 'safe space.' Sometimes my friends and I would skip recess to spend time in the library at our school and read books about our favorite animals or just talk with the librarian."

Alex:  "The public library was a big part of my summers as a child. My mom, who is an avid reader, would take me to the library so we could select our “beach” reads. Each week, my mom and I would check out books, then head to the beach to enjoy our stories. I looked forward to our routine trips to the library. I remember how empowered I felt browsing the isles and choosing my own books. But the best part, which I now understand and appreciate, was having my mom as a reading role model."

Emily: "I was a voracious reader as a kid and loved going to the library with my mom every week. We’d go to story time and then scour the shelves for as many new books as I could fit in my book bag. One vivid memory I have in particular is the day I got my very own library card. My mom had two rules: First, I was going to have to talk to the librarian all on my own to ask her for a card (I was a really shy kid, so even though she was the nicest woman, it was excruciating for me) and second, I had to be able to write down my name, home address, and phone number without any help so that I could fill out the form. I remember practicing for days and making up songs so I could remember how to spell our very long street name and confusing zip code. When I finally got my card I was so proud, and showed it to anyone and everyone who would pay attention! I loved feeling like I had my very own key to check out any of the books I loved so dearly."

To learn more about the key role of librarians helping children find books to read for fun, visit on the latest findings from our nationally representative survey of parents and kids.