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Mayor Donna Deegan Optimistic about Community's Desire for Literacy Growth
JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Dec. 4, 2023 – Jacksonville Public Library proudly announces the findings of a community-wide survey conducted by the Public Opinion Research Lab (PORL) at the University of North Florida, uncovering Duval County residents' perspectives on literacy and lifelong learning. The study was conducted as part of the Library's strategic agenda to understand better the community's perception of the importance of literacy and lifelong learning to the success of the community, and to gauge the Library's role in those success factors.
Key highlights from the survey revealed that a staggering 94% of respondents believe literacy—encompassing reading, writing, and comprehension of the written word—is profoundly important to the community. Furthermore, 74% recognize the Jacksonville Public Library as very important in maintaining a literate community throughout our neighborhoods. When asked about lifelong learning, 90% of respondents said it was very important to the community, and 71% think the Library plays a very important role.
Notably, the survey showcased varying perceptions across areas grouped by zip codes. As shown in the graphic below, urban core neighborhoods showed the highest level of importance of the Library in literacy and lifelong learning.
"The results are very encouraging," says Mayor Donna Deegan. "They support literacy as one of the most important pillars of my administration. As the report shows, literacy is a key factor in success for neighborhoods, individuals, and the entire Duval community."
Tim Rogers, Jacksonville Public Library's chief librarian and library director says the Library is especially pleased with the survey's findings. "We've been focused on library-led and community-based collaborations that celebrate engagement through reading, writing, and lifelong learning. Although the death of libraries has been predicted for years, the survey confirms the value Jaxsons place on their Library's impact."
These insights serve as a testament to the community's deep-rooted commitment to literacy while illuminating areas for enhancing the library's impact. Jacksonville Public Library remains committed to addressing these findings to better serve our diverse community in advancing literacy.
The Library plans to conduct this survey annually to ensure the value of the agency to the community. Additional surveys will be conducted among Library cardholders throughout the year.
Stay tuned for upcoming initiatives and collaborative efforts from the Jacksonville Public Library aimed at fortifying literacy in Duval County.