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Public libraries in the digital age Kathryn Zickuhr and Mary Madden Pew Internet & American Life Project Presented to: Chief Officers of State Library Agencies Spring Meeting April 25, 2012
About Pew Internet Part of the Pew Research Center, a non-partisan “fact tank” in Washington, DC Studies how people use digital technologies Does not promote specific technologies or make policy recommendations Research is primarily based on nationally representative telephone surveys of adults pewinternet.org
About our libraries research Goal: To study the changing role of public libraries and library users in the digital age Funded by a three-year, $1.4 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation libraries.pewinternet.org
RESEARCH TIMELINE Stage I (August 2011-July 2012) Libraries + new technologies The Rise of E-Reading - Published – Includes special focus on reading habits of people who own e-readers or tablet computers E-books and libraries - June 2012 – Will include stories and quotes from online surveys of library staff and patrons (in the field now) Library use in different community types The habits of younger library users
RESEARCH TIMELINE Stage II (May-November 2012) The changing world of library services The evolving role of libraries in communities – New library services – People’s expectations of libraries – “The library of the future” The role of libraries in the life of special populations – Lower-income users, minorities, rural residents, senior citizens
RESEARCH TIMELINE Stage III (September 2012–April 2013) A typology of who does – and does not – use libraries A “library user” typology – Different user “types” based on: What their local libraries are like How they use libraries Attitudes about libraries in general An updated, in-depth portrait of young library users
What we have done so far…
First report: The rise of e-reading 21% of American adults read an e-book in the last year 68% read a print book 11% listened to an audiobook
The book format used by readers on any given day is changing % of adult book readers (age 18+) using this format on an average day, as of June 2010 and December 2011
Who are the readers behind the screens? Readers of e-books are more likely than other readers to be: Under age 50 College educated Living in households earning $50K+ Other key characteristics: They read more books, more often, and for a wider range of reasons More likely to buy than borrow
How e-readers read their e-books % of all Americans age 16 and older who read an e-book in the past 12 months, as of December 2011
How device owners read their e-books % of owners of each device who read e-books on that device * = among people who own that device
The contours of the gadget landscape 29% of US adults own a specialized device for e- reading (either a tablet or an e-reader) – 19% of adults own an e-book reader – 19% of adults own a tablet computer
What kind of e-reader do you own? % of American adult e-reader owners age 18+ who own each type of e-book reader
What kind of tablet computer do you own? % of American adult tablet owners age 18+ who own each type of tablet computer
What is the main reason you do not currently have an e-reader? % of American adults age 16+ who do not own an e-book reader, as of December 2011 Just don't need one/don’t want one 24% Cost/can’t afford it19 Prefer books/print16 Don’t read/no time to read10 Don’t know what an e-reader is5 Don’t want to learn tech/don’t know how to use it4 Have enough other devices/use other devices3 Plan to get one/waiting for better features3 Have iPad/tablet3 Lack of time in general2 I’m too old2 Vision/health problems<1 Other3 Don’t know/refused5 Dec. 2011 results are from a survey of 2,986 people age 16 and older conducted November 16-December 21, 2011. The survey was conducted in English and Spanish and on landline and call phones. The margin of error is +/- 2 percentage points. N for number of non-owners of e-reading devices=2,290.
What is the main reason you do not currently have a tablet computer? % of American adults age 16+ who do not own a tablet computer, as of December 2011 Just don't need one/don’t want one 35% Cost/can’t afford it25 Have enough devices/happy with current devices20 Don’t want to learn tech/don’t know how to use it7 Don’t know what a tablet computer is2 Plan to get one/waiting for better features2 I’m too old2 Lack of time in general1 Don’t read/no time to read<1 Vision/health problems<1 Prefer books/print<1 Prefer to use library<1 Other2 Don’t know/refused3 Dec. 2011 results are from a survey of 2,986 people age 16 and older conducted November 16-December 21, 2011. The survey was conducted in English and Spanish and on landline and call phones. The margin of error is +/- 2 percentage points. N for number of non-owners of e-reading devices=2,290.
Which is better for these purposes, a printed book or an e-book? % of Americans 16+ who have read both e-books and print books in the last 12 months
When you want to read a particular e-book, where do you look first? % of readers of e-books age 16+, as of December 2011
Additional takeaways for librarians The gadget doesn’t make the reader, but it may change the reader 41% of tablet owners and 35% of e-reader owners said they were reading more since the advent of e-content A majority of print readers (54%) and e-book readers (61%) prefer to purchase their own copies of these books; most audiobook listeners (61%) prefer to borrow their audiobooks
WHAT’S NEXT Online surveys: E-books and libraries Two surveys: 1.Patrons who check out e-books 2.Staff at libraries that lend out e-books Online surveys = Stories, not statistics Focusing on public libraries in the U.S. In the field now; surveys will be open until Friday, May 18 th
WHAT’S NEXT Online surveys: E-books and libraries Patrons survey – Please share! – http://bit.ly/pewebooksurvey http://bit.ly/pewebooksurvey – No password Librarian survey – Please take! – http://bit.ly/pewlibrarian http://bit.ly/pewlibrarian – Email Kathryn at email@example.com for firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you! Kathryn Zickuhr Email: email@example.com@pewinternet.org Twitter: @kzickuhr Mary Madden Email: firstname.lastname@example.org@pewinternet.org Twitter: @mary_madden libraries.pewinternet.org
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