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Libraries at the crossroads

Public Wants Libraries to Advance Education, Improve Digital Literacy and Serve Key GroupsYou've probably already heard about a recent Pew Research Center study about libraries, "Libraries at the Crossroads." Here are some highlights:

Many American say they want public libraries to:

  • support local education;
  • serve special constituents such as veterans, active-duty military personnel and immigrants;
  • help local businesses, job seekers and those upgrading their work skills;
  • embrace new technologies such as 3-D printers and provide services to help patrons learn about high-tech gadgetry.

Some tech highlights:

  • 78% of those 16 and older say libraries should “definitely” offer programs to teach people how to use digital tools such as computers, smartphones and apps.
  • 75% say libraries have been effective at helping people learn how to use new technologies.
  • Among those who have used a public library website or mobile app in the past 12 months, 42% have used it for research or homework help.
  • For those who have used a public library’s computers or Wi-Fi signal to go online, 60% have used those tools for research or school work.
  • 45% say that libraries should “definitely” purchase new digital technologies such as 3-D printers to let people explore how to use them. Another 35% say libraries should “maybe” do this.

There are so many interesting numbers! The report also includes data about library website use, awareness of e-book lending, who is using libraries and in what ways, computer and internet access, and many other topics.

Read more here: http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/09/15/libraries-at-the-crossroads/

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