Parental Perspectives on Book Restrictions: A Collaborative Survey by EveryLibrary & Book Riot

Parental Perspectives on Book Restrictions: A Collaborative Survey by EveryLibrary & Book Riot

EveryLibrary Institute and Book Riot have collaborated on a survey to gauge how parents view the role of public libraries and their stance on book restrictions. Participants were queried about their comfort level with LGBTQ+ narratives in children’s literature, their views on when children should be introduced to books on puberty and sexual education, and their overall trust in the library environment.

Findings suggest that a majority of parents (67%) view book restrictions as “unnecessary,” with 74% feeling that such bans interfere with their parental rights. A significant 89% believe that the onus of selecting appropriate reading material lies with the parents or guardians. 92% of the respondents trust the safety of their children within library premises, with two-thirds confirming their child hasn’t borrowed any material that made them uneasy.

However, opinions on book restrictions weren’t unanimously against it. Almost half (49%) of participants expressed some level of agreement that librarians might face consequences for distributing particular books to children.

On the topic of book accessibility based on themes like LGBTQ narratives, race-related issues, sexual education, and social justice, the majority seemed at ease with social justice topics. 44% felt that kids should have access to such books either from a very young age or during their primary school years. However, only 6% thought children should never be exposed to these topics. Conversely, books with LGBTQ narratives saw a more divided response, with 16% feeling that such books should remain inaccessible to children even through high school. Parents’ opinions on the influence of LGBTQ-centric books on children were evenly split, categorizing the impact as either positive (36%), neutral (32%), or negative (32%).

For a comprehensive breakdown, including additional questions, visit EveryLibrary. This survey is the initial installment of a trilogy centered on parents and library dynamics, so stay tuned for more insights in fall 2023.