Thursday, March 13, 2014

Most Engaged Library Users? Also the Most Tech-Savvy!

Another study indicates something counter-intuitive (at least upon first glance) about libraries and technology. It turns out that the most engaged library users are at the same time heavy users of technology. This might not surprise librarians, but it should be a surprise to so many in news media that have been trumpeting the end of or obsolescence of libraries. A recent Pew Internet study indicates 2/3rds of Americans are engaged library users. The core of the report (for me) is this:
“A key theme in these survey findings is that many people see acquiring information as a highly social process in which trusted helpers matter,” Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project and a main author of the report said.
And many find that librarians have access to networks of information and information sources that complement the research tech-savvy adults can do on their own. I might live to see the day when my opinion is held as truth: That the librarians - the actual people - are any library's most valuable asset. Read the survey results here.

Bravo my fellow librarians! Carry on!

1 comment:

  1. This is so true. I had a period when more of my clients embraced technology when they thought they did not need the librarian. But as they got access to more and more information from the internet that left them confused, some which proved inaccurate, they rediscovered the value of the librarian who seem to know the right information sources for their needs. They are now coming back in large numbers asking for our help. So librarians need not fear for their jobs. For as long as there is information, we will be needed.