Long Story Short: EveryLibrary and Book Riot's Parent Poll

Check out a brief overview of the results of our recent parent poll on libraries, librarians, and book bans.

Here's the scoop on how parents really feel about book bans in their local libraries.

In late 2023, EveryLibrary partnered with BookRiot to survey American parents about their opinions on recent book bans and the debates surrounding them. As you’ve probably gathered by now, book bans in schools and public libraries are a highly contentious topic. This is only natural, as the topic carries some heavy implications surrounding the government’s power over free expression.

With that context out of the way, let’s take a quick look at the purpose of our poll, what we gathered from it, and why all of that matters.

The Purpose of the Poll

As with many things in today’s hype-based news cycle, we feel the issue of book bans and censorship has been oversimplified for the sake of clicks and ad revenue. It’s actually a very nuanced issue with many potential solutions, and reducing it to a black-and-white, good-versus-evil debate is both disingenuous and unlikely to lead to any sort of solution.

To combat this, we decided to get our information directly from the people most passionate about this debate: parents. We asked, and they answered, with our series of three polls receiving a total of over 3,200 responses. Let’s see what they had to say.


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The Results of the Poll

From what we gathered, it seems the majority of American parents trust their local librarians (85 percent). They also believe that librarians should be the main curators of their library’s collection, as opposed to outside entities like regulatory boards (58 percent).

While 80 percent of respondents stressed the need for a content rating system in school libraries, 75 percent had never encountered content that they felt was inappropriate. 

Sixty-seven percent felt that the recent book bans infringed on their right to make decisions for their children, making them a generally unpopular choice. Most importantly, though, an overwhelming 92 percent of parents felt that libraries were ultimately a safe space for their children.


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What This Means

So, what exactly can we take away from these results? At the end of the day, it seems that book bans and censorship are as unpopular as ever. Though theoretically designed to protect children from harmful materials, most citizens don’t want the government parenting their kids, nor should they.

Though they may favor a few extra guardrails here and there, the American people ultimately believe that libraries should remain the institutes of learning, safe spaces, and beacons of diversity they always have been, and we wholeheartedly agree.

We’ll be taking a much more in-depth look at the poll results here in a few days, so be sure to keep an eye out! If you want to be sure to catch the extended piece when it drops, be sure to follow us at EveryLibrary today!



Visit www.everylibrary.org to learn more about our work on behalf of libraries. 

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