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Pew Internet Study–Libraries, Patrons and E-Books

June 25, 2012 Leave a comment

Perfectly timed with ALA Annual, the Pew Internet & American Life Project has released the results of its Libraries, Patrons and E-Books study.  Their website offers the complete report, the questionnaire itself, and a summary of the findings. 

Here are some of the findings:

12% of e-book readers borrowed an e-book from the library in the last year.  However, 62% of people said that they didn’t know that libraries offered e-books. 

Wow, we have our work cut out for ourselves!  As long as I have worked in public libraries, I am always amazed at the difference between what the public thinks we do and what we actually offer. 

The survey also has some very good news for libraries:

Library card holders own and use more digital devices than non-card holders.   They also read more books.   58% of Americans have library cards.  I’d love that to be higher. 

The number that really got my librarian heart pumping was that 69% of Americans say that the library is important to them and their family.  See that number?  It’s higher than the number of card holders. 

So, we have to promote our new services more effectively, but we also have a lot to be proud of.  The message of our value is out there and strong. 

Image from http://www.flickr.com/photos/a_mason/4738779282/

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