By: Jen Benoit-Bryan, PhD

April 04, 2022

What role — or roles — should libraries play in their communities as part of the arts and culture landscape? 

Culture and Community in a Time of Transformation: Focus on Libraries is a new report supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services that explores the unique responses of more than 17,000 library or literary event patrons in comparison to the U.S. population as a whole. A few of the ways that library users are unique include:

  • Library users believe arts and culture organizations are vital to their communities at much higher rates than non-library users.
  • Arts and culture are deeply integrated into the lives of library users, with very high rates of personal creative practice, online engagement, in person attendance, etc.
  • Most library users want to see arts and culture organizations change to become even more relevant to, and reflective of, their communities.
  • Digital offerings have the potential to reach people who haven’t been engaging with libraries in person and to help diversify library audiences. Of those who engaged with a library online over the past year, almost half (48%) hadn’t been to a library in person over the last 4-5 years.

Please download the report for much more details on the unique perspectives, hopes, and needs of library users. You can read and download the full report here, and we look forward to hearing your thoughts.

This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services [LG-250010-OLS-21].

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