Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Urban Institute Reports Trends in Children's Services at Public Libraries

From the Monday Memo, November 14, 2011 (Arrowhead Library System)

The Institute for Museum and Library Services blog, posted information about a new study released by the Urban Institute. The report, “Children’s Services at Public Libraries: A Port in the Storm,” emphasizes that public libraries provide resources and experiences that support children’s literacy development, such as arts and crafts, songs, drama, and story-telling:

“As policymakers search for solutions to improve child outcomes during a time of constrained budgets, one group of institutions is often overlooked. As  community anchor institutions, public libraries increase children's access to books and computers, and provide meaningful learning opportunities. These functions are particularly critical for children from high-need families who often fall behind in school. Most children living in poverty have few or no books at home, as well as limited access to the Internet.” 

However, the report also outlines that the distribution and availability of those services are inconsistent, often lacking in areas where they are most needed. The full commentary is available online at MetroTrends, the Urban Institute’s report card and toolkit for researchers, students, journalists, elected officials and the public on the state of metropolitan economies: http://www.metrotrends.org/commentary/libraries-imls.cfm

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