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Fewer Americans are reading print books

Today’s recommended read gives us the bad news that there’s been a 7% decrease in Americans who read since 2011, dropping from 79% to 72%.

Not good news.

Recommended article: Slightly fewer Americans are reading print books, new survey finds

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Who Uses Libraries and What They do at Their Libraries

Today’s recommended reading is from Pew Internet Research: “Who Uses Libraries and What They do at Their Libraries.”

Two-thirds (65%) of all of those 16 and older say that closing their local public library would have a major impact on their community, similar to the 63% figure recorded in 2013. One-third (32%) say closing their local public library would have a major impact on them or their family – roughly the same as the 29% who said this in 2013.

Source: Chapter 1: Who Uses Libraries and What They do at Their Libraries

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Libraries at the Crossroads

SUGGESTED READING
Libraries at the Crossroads
The public is interested in new services and thinks libraries are important to communities

Americans believe libraries are important community institutions and profess interest in libraries offering a range of new program possibilities. Yet, even as the public expresses interest in additional library services, there are signs that the share of Americans visiting libraries has edged downward over the past three years.

Source: Libraries at the Crossroads | Pew Research Center

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A new way of looking at public library engagement in America

WokinghamLibraries / PixabayFrom Pew Internet Research:

A new way of looking at public library engagement in America

We recently released our latest report, a typology of public library engagement in America. Using the data behind our previous report on how people value libraries in their communities, this typology divides Americans into nine groups that reflect different patterns of public library engagement along a general spectrum of high, medium, low, and non-engagement.

[snip]

Image source: WokinghamLibraries / Pixabay

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30% don’t know what you offer

If I ask anyone who markets or communicates for a library: “What’s your biggest challenge?” There’s a good chance the answer is going to be “Getting information out to our audiences.” Pew reports: “One challenge libraries face is simply making people aware of all the services they offer. 30% of library users say they know little or nothing about the services their library provides.”

In addition, from the full report: “91% of Americans say they have had some exposure to libraries in the past.”

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44% of adults have used a library website

Think that library websites have a small audience? Think again! Pew reports: “Library websites are catching on. 44% of those ages 16 and older have ever used a library website, up from 39% in 2012, and 30% used one in the past 12 months. Website users tend to be higher income and well educated.”

In addition, from the full report: “61% of those ages 16 and older have a library card.”

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Kids and literacy are high priorities for library service

WokinghamLibraries / Pixabay

Pew reports: “The public’s highest priorities for libraries center on kids and literacy. 85% of Americans say libraries “should definitely” coordinate more closely with local schools. And 82% believe libraries should provide free literacy programs to young children, which may include traditional reading, writing and comprehension as well as technology and new media literacies.”

From the full report: “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.”

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Books and media still the most important library service

jarmoluk / Pixabay

Pew reports: “Access to books, media, and quiet, safe reading places top the list of favorite library services. 80% of Americans say no-cost access to books and media is the most important service libraries provide, followed by librarian assistance (76%), having a quiet and safe place to read (75%) and research resources (72%).”

From the full report: “95% of Americans ages 16 and older agree that the materials and resources available at public libraries play an important role in giving everyone a chance to succeed.”

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Mothers love libraries

OpenClips / Pixabay

Pew reports: “Mothers are more likely than fathers to read to their children every day (55% vs. 45%). Mothers are also more likely than fathers to have a library card and to have visited a library in the past year.”

From the full report: “The ties between parents and libraries start with the importance parents attach to the role of reading in their children’s lives. Half of parents of children under age 12 (50%) read to their child every day and an additional 26% do so a few times a week. Those with children under age 6 are especially keen on daily reading with their child: 58% of these parents read with their child every day and another 26% read multiple times a week with their children.”

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Americans appreciate libraries

WokinghamLibraries / Pixabay

Pew reports: “Americans appreciate libraries, especially for the role they play in communities. 90% of Americans say the closing of their local public library would impact their community and 67% said it would affect them and their families.”

From the full report: “the vast majority of Americans ages 16 and older say that public libraries play an important role in their communities.”

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