Perhaps the most groundbreaking aspect of “Library Services in the Digital Age,” the report released today by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project is how non-groundbreaking its findings are.
Based on “a survey of 2,252 Americans ages 16 and above” conducted between October 15 and November 10 of last year, the Pew report assures us that, even in the digital age, libraries continue to serve a variety of functions, with nearly 60% of respondents having had some kind of interaction with a library in the last 12 months, and 91% saying that “public libraries are important to their communities.”
So what does this mean? Well, for one thing, I’d suggest, it puts the lie to the decline of the library, much like that of the print book. It’s been tempting to see, in the rise of digital culture, some element of historical imperative, but the truth, or so the Pew report suggests, is far more complex.Read More