Sunday, January 21, 2024

Parents' Perceptions of LIbraries

Three national surveys asked parents and guardians about their perception of librarians' trustworthiness as professionals and curators of a library collection and their attitudes toward books and book bans. ​

"Top-level findings from the Parents Perception Report are:

  • 85% of respondents say they trust librarians.
  • 58% of parents think public librarians should be primarily responsible for what books are selected for the public library as opposed to elected officials, library boards, or parent groups.
  • 92% of respondents say libraries are safe spaces for their children.
  • 75% of respondents do not believe their libraries are experiencing book bans.
  • 67% of respondents feel that book bans infringe on their rights to make decisions for their children.
  • 75% of respondents report that neither they nor their child have checked out a book from the library that they felt was inappropriate.
  • 63% of respondents agree or somewhat agree that “banning books is a waste of time” at the public library. 
  • 57% of respondents say banning books from the school library is an appropriate way to prevent children from learning about certain topics. 
  • 80% of respondents agree that "school libraries should have content rating systems.
  • 95% of respondents want to see a school library in their child’s school. 

The increase in book bans is a concerning trend threatening the democratic values of freedom of expression and access to information. The survey report should inform librarians about curating content and creating policies that align with community values and expectations, as well as inform policymakers and educators about making decisions that reflect the actual views of parents rather than those of special interest groups." (from Every Library Institute).  

McGehee, M., & Chrastka, J.(2023). Parents' perception survey series final report. Every Library Institute.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Early digital reading and reading stamina research

Early frequent reading online can negatively impact reading stamina. Recognizing letters and matching them to their associated sounds is a vital part of learning to read. Being read to and reading practice results in automacity between 5 and 7 years old. when this combination skills is delayed, it makes it harder to read, which impacts reading stamina. Early exposure to digital text can be overstimulating and can lead to more passivity and distraction, which impedes focus. Even when presented as a host of “learning activities,” electronic devices do not benefit toddlers cognitively, she said. “The screens move too fast for them. At that age, children need an adult to sit beside them to mediate the information, to communicate the information.”

Horowitz-Kraus T, Rosch K, Fotang J, Mostofsky SH, Schlaggar BL, Pekar J, Taran N, Farah R. Fluent contextual reading is associated with greater synchronization of the visual and auditory networks, fluent reading and better speed of processing in children with dyslexia. Cortex. 2023 Nov;168:62-75. doi: 10.1016/j.cortex.2023.07.007. Epub 2023 Aug 17. PMID: 37660660. 

Sunday, December 24, 2023

Parents' Perception of School Libraries reports

A recent study investigated parents' perceptions of school librarians. A vast majority of the parents surveyed asserted that every school should have a school librarian. The survey results show that a significant percentage of parents (80%) trust school librarians to select appropriate books and materials for school libraries. However,  only 41% of the parents have met their child’s school librarian. There were also mixed feelings about providing materials on race/racism and LGBT+, depending on the students' age. Parents also want more say about library collections.

A series of Parents’ Perception of School Libraries and Librarians Survey (Dec 2023) findings are available at Please see “Parents’ Perceptions of Public Libraries” (Sept 2023) and “Parents’ Perceptions of Librarians” (Nov 2023) for additional insights on this dynamic topic, surveyed by Book Riot and EveryLibrary Institute. 

Monday, December 18, 2023

Book Banning Report

A recent study reflected on the nearly 6,000 book bans in public schools documented from July 2021 to June 2023. The study illustrates the spread of copycat book bans and an apparent “Scarlet Letter” effect, where several works from an author’s catalog were subsequently targeted after at least one of their works was banned.

PEN. (2023). Banned in the US: The growing movement to censor books in schools. PEN.

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Digital Reading and Comprehension Study

 For years, research showed that print reading, whether for leisure or school, improved developing readers’ ability to comprehend text. However, the explosive use of digital reading devices, constant access to these devices, and new types of reading materials have introduced new reading habits. Now, a new comprehensive review of research on digital leisure reading habits finds a virtually nonexistent relationship between digital reading and improvement in reading comprehension among students.

Altamura, L., Vargas, C., & Salmerón, L. (2023). Do new forms of reading pay off? A meta-analysis on the relationship between leisure digital reading habits and text comprehension. Review of Educational Research. Prepublished December 13, 2023.

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

AI study

A Stanford study found that GPT detectors often misclassify non-native English writing as AI-generated, which reflects a type of bias. 

Liang, W., et al. (2023). GPT detectors are biased against non-native English writers. Patterns, 4(7).

Sunday, November 5, 2023

Book Digitalization and Print Demand Study

Abstract: The free digital distribution of creative works could cannibalize demand for physical versions, but it could also boost physical sales by enabling consumers to discover the original work. We study the impact of the Google Books digitization project on the market for physical books. We find that digitization significantly boosts the demand for physical versions and provide evidence for the discovery channel. Moreover, digitization allows independent publishers to introduce new editions for existing books, further increasing sales. Our results highlight the potential of free digital distribution to strengthen the demand for and supply of physical products.

Nagaraj, Abhishek, and Imke Reimers. 2023. "Digitization and the Market for Physical Works: Evidence from the Google Books Project." American Economic Journal: Economic Policy15 (4): 428-58DOI: 10.1257/pol.20210702