Households' public library use across the school calendar
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When schools are on break, some households may be constrained to provide educational resources to their children. Public libraries could be low-cost providers of materials and services that foster educational investment. This research extends existing literature by combining household-level data (public library checkout counts, residential property tax assessment values, student enrollment rosters, and distance to public library measures) to conduct a panel analysis of public library use across the public school calendar. The empirical analyses find that public- school breaks generally impact library use for households with children in public school, but not for households without children in public school or for the lowest socioeconomic status households with children in public school. Distance to library is found to be negatively correlated with public library use for all households, but differentially and dependent on households' socioeconomic status and structure. Lastly, community events and weather are identified to impact use.
Gilpin, Gregory, and James Becker. “Households' public library use across the school calendar.” Library & Information Science Research 42, no. 2 (April 2020). doi: 10.1016/j.lisr.2020.101012.