Do people trust librarians?

[Editor’s note: Guest post written by Nick Poole, CEO of CILIP: the library and information association, announcing the results of a poll they commissioned]

We commissioned a YouGov poll to explore which professional groups the public believe are most likely to provide trustworthy information. It has revealed that librarians are in the top five.

Medical staff topped the list, with 74% of British adults saying they thought they would provide trustworthy information, followed by teachers and police officers (both at 49%), librarians (46%) and lawyers (39%). Bottom of the list were politicians, with 2% of respondents saying they thought they would provide trustworthy information.

The total sample size was 2,000 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 19 - 22 January 2018, via a survey carried out online.

The public poll reveals that it has never been more important to have access to trusted information in order to make good, evidence-based decisions, yet it has never been more difficult to find. The majority of respondents agreed they trust information more when it’s from a professional.

The YouGov poll of adults in Great Britain shows:

  • 66% agree that it is harder than ever to find trustworthy information.
  • 84% agree that they trust information more when it is given by a professional.
  • 90% agree that it is important to educate people on how to find trustworthy information.
  • Librarians were in the top five trusted professional groups out of the 10 tested, with 46% of adults saying they would provide trustworthy information.
Infographic showing the results, produced by CILIP
Infographic showing the results, produced by CILIP

Without information we can trust, it becomes almost impossible to make good decisions in life. Whether we’re getting medical advice, making a big decision or understanding world events, we need accurate, unbiased and evidence-based information. The responsibility of providing accurate information to support people and companies to make good decisions is something that we, as library and information professionals, take seriously. Which is why every CILIP member signs up to a code of ethics and has unrivalled opportunities to develop their skills and expertise.

Complete list

When asked which, of a list of ten, professional groups would provide you with trustworthy information, people said:

1. Medical staff, 74%
2. Teachers, 49%
3. Police officers, 49%
4. Librarians, 46%
5. Lawyers, 39%
6. Economists, 20%
7. Journalists, 6%
8. Pollsters, 4%
9. Estate agents, 3%
10. Politicians, 2%

Bar chart showing the poll results
Bar chart showing the poll results

Read the full poll report on the CILIP website.

Please note, this is a guest blog. Views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of DCMS or the Libraries Taskforce

1 comment

  1. Comment by sonia dickinson posted on

    There aren't any Librarian's who work in the front of the library.
    There are no qualifications or educational requirements to be a front end library staff.
    It should read that Libraries are a trusted source.


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