Friday, May 10, 2013

The Value of Libraries

Jennings, April

 Brudno S. (2013). The Value of Libraries. Information Today, 30(3), 8.

         The digital age is having a major impact on how libraries acquire and secure ownership of digital content. According to Brudno (2013), we live in a world of users who desire both print and digital materials.

A national phone survey administered by Pew Internet & American Life (Jan. 22, 2013) in October and November 2012 led to some interesting results. Approximately 2,252 Americans, 16 years old and older were asked about library digital services in the previous year (Brudno, 2013). The article titled “Library Services in the Digital Age” revealed information that indicated 80% of users continued to value book borrowing services, 70% needed and appreciated references services, and 77% wanted access to library computers at no cost (Brudno, 2013). 

This report revealed perceptive information regarding patrons wants and how they correspond to the library’s needs. In a ever-changing environment, it is obvious that customers 16 year olds and older have certain expectations (Brudno, 2013). The survey also included question related to the likelihood of using specific services.

For example, 37% of those surveyed solicit help through the “Ask a Librarian” service and 35% would access library services from app.-based device. There were 35% of surveyors who investigated new upgrades and devices with the technology tools, such as “petting zoos” (Brudno, 2013). At least 34% preferred to locate library materials with a GPS navigation system, but many did not check out movies from the library. The Redbox style of lending gained 33% of users who were preferred this method (Brudno, 2013). Before checking out books from the library 29% pursued a recommendation list similar to Amazon.
This survey also asked library staff, “What are your top 3 library services?” Librarians chose, “Ask a Librarian,” classes on e borrowing, and tutorials for e-readers. Although, there were differences, it appeared to be some understanding as to what the patrons want and is willing to assist at all times (Brudno, 2013).

However, librarians and patrons did not always agree. In fact, 20% of the patrons would like to increase space for other programs and events by removing some of the print materials. The survey results also show 39% of respondents said it didn’t really matter if print books were removed but 36% wanted print materials to remain in the library catalog (Brudno, 2013). Finally this report revealed an overwhelming 91% of patrons valued the library in their community (Brudno, 2013).

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