News - Advocacy
Friday, March 24, 2023 12:00 AM

What Do Michiganders Really Think? MLA Launches Public Opinion Poll on Book Banning

Last month, the Michigan Library Association contracted with EPIC-MRA, a full-service survey research firm with expertise in Public Opinion Surveys and Market Research Studies. EPIC-MRA has a proven track record of producing accurate and useful research data based on public perceptions and opinions. While we have been using national studies (like those produced by ALA and EveryLibrary) to prove that book banning and censorship issues are not tolerated by the majority of voters in the country, we felt that we needed solid Michigan data to back this up.

Our work with EPIC-MRA will produce a statistically valid, stratified survey of voters in Michigan regarding awareness of, and attitudes toward, the increasingly intense and coordinated efforts to dictate the collection content of local public libraries.

In addition to measuring awareness and existing attitudes about the topic among a representative sample of all voters statewide (850 voters will be surveyed), MLA is interested in gauging what messages resonate for MLA and its members, to proactively and effectively communicate our findings. Such messages would not only advocate the fundamental wisdom of a library board’s objectivity toward the content of the materials in its collection but also measure the level at which the voting public appreciates the inherent pitfalls allowing a group to homogenize the marketplace of ideas and sources of thought contained in public libraries. The messaging component will be a second phase of the work plan once the survey has been tabulated and analyzed.

The 45-question survey document was finalized by a small group of MLA Board Members. The 15-minute phone survey will begin this week and will take approximately one week to complete. In April we will disseminate a summary document for the state as well as for each of the 11 Cooperative regions.


Uniting the Michigan Library Community

MLA is proud to partner with organizations serving the library community.

Friends of Michigan Libraries logo