Research Literacy

In 2008 the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) published a marketing research report addressing the need for increasing public support for libraries. The study, From Awareness to Funding: A Study of Library Support in America, was funded by a $1.2 million grant awarded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Respondents in the study were divided into four groups according to how supportive of public library funding they were. Somehow—the OCLC researchers don’t say how—certain questionnaire responses qualified respondents for assignment to each group. But the results don’t always make sense. For instance, 20% of “super-supporter” group said they were not definitely committed to voting in favor of libraries. And 6% of this group was either unsure how they’d vote or said they would vote “No.” Wondering how such uncommitted respondents ended up assigned to the group that is “super” supportive of libraries, I contacted the OCLC researchers. Unfortunately, I never did get a response to this question.   [Read more…]

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