“The vast majority of parents of minor children — children younger than 18 — feel libraries are very important for their children. That attachment carries over into parents’ own higher-than-average use of a wide range of library services.” (via Pew Internet Libraries)
“The internet has already had a major impact on how people find and access information, and now the rising popularity of e-books is helping transform Americans’ reading habits. In this changing landscape, public libraries are trying to adjust their services to these new realities while still serving the needs of patrons who rely on more traditional resources. In a new survey of Americans’ attitudes and expectations for public libraries, the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project finds that many library patrons are eager to see libraries’ digital services expand, yet also feel that print books remain important in the digital age.”
“A new study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, Libraries, Patrons, and E-books, offers a glimpse at the current state of American libraries and finds them eager to lend e-books but struggling to do so, primarily because of budget limits and restrictions publishers place on e-book lending.
Of America’s 9,000 public library systems, 76 percent now offer e-books, up from 67 percent last year. But patrons are often unaware that libraries offer e-book lending — 62 percent of those surveyed said they didn’t know if their library lends e-books. Twelve percent of e-book readers have tried borrowing digital books from a library, but indicate the process is cumbersome, with wait lists that can stretch for months, lack of availability for many titles, an inability to renew, and difficulty with the downloading process.”
“The poll showed 62 percent of readers didn’t know if their library had e-books for lending, and only 12 percent of Americans 16 and older who read e-books had borrowed at least one from a library in the past year. “The most important thing libraries can do is make sure e-books are accessible through the rest of the library system,” said Micah May, the director of strategy at the New York Public Library, about raising e-book lending awareness.”
ITI – “The Pew Research Center announced plans to study how the role of public libraries is changing in the digital age and how library patrons’ needs and expectations are shifting. The new research is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with a 3-year, $1.4 million investment and will be conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. Through national surveys, a series of focus groups in a diverse mix of communities, and special surveys of library patrons, the Pew Internet Project will examine how library users’ habits and tastes are changing in the age of ebooks, widespread mobile connectivity, and the existence of vast digital collections. The new research will be launched as the Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan fact tank based in Washington, DC, expands its research on the issues, attitudes, and trends shaping America and the world.”