Monday, June 30, 2014

7 surprises about libraries in our surveys: Pew Research Center

7 surprises about libraries in our surveys
Fact Tank-Pew Research Center: 6.30.2014 by Lee Rainie

The Pew Research Center’s studies about libraries and where they fit in the lives of their communities and patrons have uncovered some surprising facts about what Americans think of libraries and the way they use them. As librarians around the world are gathered in Las Vegas for the American Library Association’s annual conference, here are findings that stand out from our research, our typology of public library engagement and the quiz we just released that people can take to see where they compare with our national survey findings: What kind of library user are you?

1 Each time we ask about library use, we find that those ages 65 and older are less likely to have visited a library in the past 12 months than those under that age. Equally as interesting is the fact that younger Americans (those ages 16-29) are just as likely to be library users as those who are older.

2 Although 10% of Americans have never used a library, they think libraries are good for their communities. We’ve identified this group of library users as “Distant Admirers,” and they are the majority of the nearly 15% of Americans ages 16 and older who have never been to a library.
 -40% of Distant Admirers report that someone else in their household is a library user.
 -2/3s of them or more say libraries are important because they promote literacy and reading
 -55% say the loss of the local library would be a blow to the community.

3 E-book reading is rising but just 4% of Americans are “e-book only” readers.

4 Those who read both e-books and printed books prefer reading in the different formats under different circumstances.

5 One of the big concerns in the publishing industry about selling e-books to libraries is that allowing free access to e-books through libraries might eat into book sales. In fact, Pew Research data show that those who use libraries are more likely than others to be book buyers and actually prefer to buy books, rather than borrow them.

6 One of the foundational principles of librarians is supporting the privacy of patrons. . . . . .many patrons are comfortable with the idea of getting recommendations from librarians based on their previous book-reading habits.

7 Many librarians are struggling to figure out how to think about their book collections in the digital age.  READ MORE !

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