The Power and Relevance of LibrariesTakeaways from Pew Internet researchLee Rainie - @lrainieDirectorPew Research Center’s Internet & American Life ProjectPresented to: ALAMay 7, 2013
What is Pew? Say wha’: A “fact tank”?“Tell the truth, and trustthe people”-- Joseph N. Pew, Jr.http://bit.ly/dUvWe3http://bit.ly/100qMub
About our libraries research• Goal: To study the changing role of publiclibraries and library users in the digital age• Done in 3 phases– Changing state of reading– Changing mix of library services– Changing tastes of library patrons• Funded by a three-year grant from the Bill &Melinda Gates Foundationlibraries.pewinternet.org
1) Libraries are appreciated91% say libraries areimportant to theircommunities76% say libraries areimportant to them andtheir familiesRobert Dawson photography - Library Road Triphttp://www.robertdawson.com/pages/1/Public%20Library%3a%20An%20American%20Commons/Public%20Library%3a%20An%20American%20Commons/
1a) Libraries are especially appreciated by parents94% of parents say libraries are importantfor their children and 79% describelibraries as “very important.”84% of these parents say a major reasonthey want their children to have accessto libraries is that libraries help inculcatetheir children’s love of reading andbooks.81% say a major reason is that librariesprovide their children with informationand resources not available at home.71% say a major reason is that libraries area safe place for children.
72) Libraries stack up well vs. othersHow confident? How important?
3) People like librarians• 98% of “ever” library visitors say interactions are “very positive”• 81% of library visitors say librarians are “very helpful”• 50% of “last year” visitors got help from a librarian
4) Libraries have rebrandedthemselves as tech hubs80% of Americans sayborrowing books is a“very important” servicelibraries provide80% say reference librariansare a “very important”service77% say free access tocomputers and theinternet is a “veryimportant” service76% say quiet study spacesare a “very important”service
4a) How people use in- library computers (26% do so)• 66% of those who used the internet at a library in the past 12months did research for school or work.• 63% browsed the internet for fun or to pass the time.• 54% used email.• 47% got health information.• 41% visited government websites or got info about gov services.• 36% looked for jobs or applied for jobs online.• 35% visited social networking sites.• 26% downloaded or watched online video.• 16% bought a product online.• 16% paid bills or did online banking.• 16% took an online class completed online certification program.
5) E-book reading is growing;borrowing is just getting startedLate 2011: 16% ofAmerican adults readan e-book in past year –now: 23%2012: 5% of Americans16+ have borrowed e-book from library in lastyearGrowing awareness thatthis is library feature:now 31% of public
5b) Advent of e-content spawns morereading and more reading “packages”30% of e-content readerssay they are readingmore nowThe average reader of e-books has read 24 books(the mean number) inthe past 12 months,compared with anaverage of 15 books by anon-e-book consumer.E-book readers read in ALLformats
5c) Reading is precious to parents• 50% of parents ofchildren under age12 read to theirchild every day• 26% do so a fewtimes a week• 58% of parentswith children under6 read with theirchild every day
6) People are open to even more tech at libraries
6a) African-Americans and Latinos are esp.enthusiastic
7) The public invites you to be moreengaged in knotty problems
8) Libraries have a PR problem /opportunity• 22% say that they knowall or most of theservices their librariesoffer• 46% say they knowsome of what theirlibraries offer• 31% said they know notmuch or nothing at allof what their librariesoffer
9) There is churn in library useReasons library use INCREASED (26%)Enjoy taking their children, grandchildren 26%Do research and use reference materials 14%Borrow books more 12%Student 10%Use library computers and internet 8%Have more time to read now, retired 6%To save money 6%Good selection and variety 5%E-books, audio books, media are available 5%Convenient 5%Reading more now 5%Library events and activities 4%Good library and helpful staff 3%Quiet, relaxing time, social locale 2%Use for my job 2%Reasons library use DECREASED (22%)Can get books, do research online andthe internet is more convenient40%Library is not as useful because mychildren have grown, Im retired, Im nolonger a student16%Too busy, no time 12%Cant get to library, moved, dont knowwhere library is9%Prefer e-books 6%Prefer to buy books or get books fromfriends5%Not interested 4%Health issues 3%Dont read much these days 3%Dont like local library or staff 3%Children are too young 2%
11) There is a truly detached population outthere that matters to you• 20% never saw afamily member use alibrary when theywere growing up• 16% have nevervisited a library• 23% didn’t read abook last 12 months
How you can help us• Sign up to participate in our research(and encourage your friends!):http://libraries.pewinternet.org/participate/• Write us: What Pew Internet shouldstudy next