Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Date of this Version

Summer 5-26-2015



Public libraries are an important resource for communities. Access to plant and animal books impacts a communities’ ability to learn about their environment. In this study, the number of plant and animal books available to people through local libraries in northern Kentucky, and neighboring counties in Ohio and Indiana were counted and a survey assessing one’s preferences and likeliness to participate in conservation activities was distributed to local residents. Based on the collected data, a statistically significant relationship (p < 0.05) was found between access to plant and animal books available at local libraries and the likelihood of people to participate in conservation activities. Further analysis was performed between the total number of shelved plant and animal books at local libraries, the total number of shelved juvenile plant and animal books and the shelved adult plant and animal books, and the total number of plant and animal books in libraries compared to the local household income and number of households near a library. This study found that people that read books about plants and animals were more likely to participate in conservation activities associated with their book preference. This study also found that people living in low-income communities with fewer households are less likely to participate in plant and animal conservation, as compared to higher-income communities with a higher number of households. Additionally, this study found that lower income areas have fewer plant and animal books on the library shelves than higher income areas. Consequently, study results suggest that if more plant and animal books were made available to low-income areas and areas of biological importance through libraries, people may be more likely to conserve the wildlife around them.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.