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  • From Awareness to Funding: A study of library support in America

From Awareness to Funding: A study of library support in America

OCLC was awarded a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to explore attitudes and perceptions about library funding and to evaluate the potential of a large-scale marketing and advocacy campaign to increase public library funding in the U.S. The findings of this research are now available in the OCLC report, From Awareness to Funding: A study of library support in America. Though this study was based on data from the United States, there are findings in the report that could be applicable to any library seeking to understand the connections between public perceptions and library support.

Among the findings from the report:

  • Library funding support is only marginally related to library visitation
  • Perceptions of librarians are an important predictor of library funding support
  • Voters who see the library as a 'transformational' force as opposed to an 'informational' source are more likely to increase taxes in its support

The report suggests that targeting marketing messages to the right segments of the voting public is key to driving increased support for U.S. public libraries.