The Pew Research Center has focused some of their work on studying on the internet, technology, and libraries recently, particularly in relation to library users’ habits, engagement, and experiences. Below are just a few highlights from their research:
- 72% of all Americans ages 16 and older have either used a public library (in person or via website) in the past 12 months or live in a household where another family member or a child is an active recent user of the library.
- 80% of Americans under age 30 say that librarians are a “very important” resource for libraries to have.
- Almost one in five (18%) Americans ages 16-29 have used a mobile device to visit a public library’s website or access library resources in the past 12 months, compared with 12% of those ages 30 and older.
- 71% of city dwellers say the library is important to them and 59% have library cards — and 69% of suburban residents say the library is important and 61% have library cards.
- Family and friends are the primary source of book discovery for Americans 16 and older, especially so for suburban (66%) and urban residents (66%). Some 60% of rural residents say they get book recommendations from family and friends. Similarly, city dwellers (25%) and suburbanites (24%) are more likely than rural residents (18%) to have received recommendations from book stores they visit. Residents of all three kinds of communities are equally likely to say librarians and library websites are sources of book recommendations.
To see more of Pew’s research, visit pewresearch.org/topics/libraries/. To learn how to sign-up for a Boston Public Library card, visit bit.ly/BPLgetcarded. September is national library card sign-up month. Anyone who lives, works, or goes to school in Massachusetts can have a Boston Public Library card.