Kristen Purcell is the associate director for research at Pew Research Center’s Internet Project. She has a Ph.D. in Sociology from Rutgers University, where she specialized in mass media and cognition.
How Americans Value Public Libraries in Their Communities
54% of Americans have used a public library in the past year, and 72% live in a “library household.” Most say libraries are very important to their communities.
Younger Americans’ Library Habits and Expectations
Americans ages 16-29 are heavy technology users, including in using computers and internet at libraries. At the same time, most still read and borrow printed books, and value a mix of traditional and technological library services.
Parents, Children, Libraries, and Reading
Parents of minor children have a special relationship with libraries. Most believe libraries are very important for their children and provide extra resources that are not available at home.
Library Services in the Digital Age
The internet has already had a major impact on how people find and access information, and now the rising popularity of e-books is helping transform Americans’ reading habits. In this changing landscape, public libraries are trying to adjust their services to these new realities while still serving the needs of patrons who rely on more traditional resources.
Reading Habits in Different Communities
Residents of urban, suburban, and rural areas vary in their purposes for reading, their use of digital content, their engagement with public libraries, and where they turn for book recommendations
Younger Americans’ Reading and Library Habits
More than eight in ten Americans ages 16-29 read a book in the past year, and six in ten used their local public library. Many say they are reading more in the era of digital content, especially on their mobile phones and on computers.
Libraries, patrons, and e-books
12% of e-book readers have borrowed an e-book from a library. Those who use libraries are pretty heavy readers, but most are not aware they can borrow e-books.
The rise of e-reading
21% of Americans have read an e-book. The increasing availability of e-content is prompting some to read more than in the past and to prefer buying books to borrowing them.