Oh, what am I talking about?
I received the following e-mail via the local YA listserv. Very interesting information. Makes me feel like I am not crazy to think that libraries are actually important (to teens, and in general). Give it a read.
Last Tuesday, the Americans for Libraries Council, a nonprofit library advocacy group, released "Long Overdue: A Fresh Look at Public Attitudes About Libraries in the 21st Century." It reports the results of a national study of the general public as well as interviews with national and local civic leaders. The study was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and conducted by Public Agenda (a nonprofit, nonpartisan opinion research organization).
Quoting from the press release http://tinyurl.com/omgrs:
"Four areas of opportunity resonated most with the public and leaders alike: (1) providing stronger services for teens, (2) helping address illiteracy and poor reading skills among adults, (3) providing ready access to information about government services, including making public documents and forms readily available and (4) providing even greater access to computers for all."
"The public is very concerned about teenagers and feel that providing safe and productive activities for teens should be a high priority (72%) for their communities. This is also an area where the public potentially holds their local governments accountable as they believe local government both can and should do more for teens. In the public's reckoning, libraries can potentially fill the gap: 3 out of 4 Americans (74%) believe providing services for teens should be a high priority for libraries."
There's a "Fact Sheet" on libraries and teens at http://tinyurl.com/qrksg.
Go to http://tinyurl.com/royve for links to the full report, a two-page summary, and "5 Things Civic Leaders Should Know About Libraries and the Public" (the fifth of which lists the "four specific opportunities for public libraries to integrate themselves more fully into the life of their communities" -- the first of which is "a safe and engaging place for teens").