Greatest Hits from Pew Internet’s Library Research – from ALAMW13

One more set of sketchy notes from ALAMW13 – this time from Lee Rainie, director, Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project

Pew has done three phases of research on libraries:

  • econtent
  • library services
  • library user segmentation typology – essentially market research for libraries. Nice.

Phase 1: econtent

  • Ebooks are being read more. 16% in 2011, 23% in 2012. At the same time, reading of printed books is declining a bit – 72% in 2011, 67% in 2012.
  • 40% of Americans have either a tablet or an ebook reader. 31% have a tablet, 26% have an ebook reader
  • Readers of ebooks: currently under age 50, college educated, making 50k+, and love reading. They buy their ebooks.
  • Approximately 50% of American adults own smartphones.
  • Ebook borrowing – late 2012, a whopping 5% of Americans 16+ have borrowed ebooks from libraries in the last year.
  • Growing awareness of this service – 31% of the public
  • Yet, 57% don’t know whether this is a service they can use, including many library users.
  • Problems with borrowing process include:
    • not compatible with an ereader
    • there was a waiting list
  • Over 50% are open to library coaching/tech support with ebooks.

Phase 2: library services

  • Mega takeaway #1: people love their libraries even more for what they say about their communities than for how libraries meet personal needs
    • 91% say libraries are important to their communities
    • 6% say libraries are important to them and their families
    • People appreciate their librarians
  • Mega takeaway #2: libraries have rebranded themselves as tech hubs
    • 77% say free access to computers and the Internet is a very important service
  • Mega takeaway #3: the public wants everything equally, so library leadership will matter in setting priorities
    • African-Americans and Latinos are especially enthusiastic about library services.
  • Mega takeaway #4: the public invites you to be more Engard in knotty problems.
    • Things like involvement in iocal schools, literacy in the community, comfortable spaces, move most library services online, etc. cool.
    • Lib services online – 42% should definitely do, 34% should maybe do. Wow. That’s 76% of people wanting the library to do a whole lot more online. As in most library services. Think about that for a minute… Definitely a blog post here!
  • Mega takeaway #5: libraries have a PR problem / opportunity.
  • Mega takeaway #6 – target audiences for engagement outreach are not hard to ID
    • And there’s a large chunk of the population that simply doesn’t use the library or read books.

image by Elon University

CIL2009: Friending Libraries – the newest nodes in people’s social networks

Speaker: Lee Rainie

Talking about Twitter …

  • he asked “who’s tweeting this session?”
  • Showing his year in twitter, how people interact with him. Funny stuff

The internet is the asteroid: then and now

  • 2000 – 46% of adults use internet, 5% with broadband at home, 50% own cellphones, 0% connect to internet wirelessly, 10% use the “cloud” – slow, stationary connections built around my computer
  • 2008 – 75% use internet, 57% with broadband at home, 82% use a cell phone, 62% connect wirelessly, 53% use cloud = fast, mobile connections built around outside servers and storage

Ecosystem changes:

  • volume of information grows
  • variety of information increases
  • velocity of info speeds up – more stuff coming at us, stuff we care about – things in “our world”
  • times and places to experience media enlarge – we have our own playlists, can watch media whenever (ie., on the bus, read news on our laptops or cellphones, etc)
  • people’s vigilance for info expands and contracts – we can dig deeper when we want to – ie., health searches. We can get up to speed quickly when we want to.
  • immersive qualities of media are more compelling – and we ain’t seen nothing yet
  • relevance of info improves
  • number of info voices explodes and becomes more findable – he claimed about 1/2 of adults are now content creators
  • voting and ventilating are enabled
  • social networks are more vivid

Behold Homo Connectus:

  • a different species with a different sense of …
  • expectation about access to into
  • place and distance
  • presence with others
  • opportunities to play
  • time use
  • personal efficacy
  • social networking possibilities

New tech-user typology

  • new survey of 3300 adults
  • 39% are motivated by mobility, 61% are tied to stationary media
  • the 39%: being drawn into deeper use thanks to mobile connections, wireless connections prompt them to use the internet more, self expression and networking matters to them
  • the 61%: don’t feel the pull of mobility, might have lots of technology, but it is relatively peripheral in their lives, they have plateaued in internet use, or are on the outskirts of digital life

10 groups – 5 motivated, 5 not so much:


1. digital collaborators (8%)

  • use their tech assets to work with and share their creations with others
  • they lead the pack in every dimension of our analysis: assets, actions, attitudes towards tech
  • always-on broaband, etc
  • 56% male
  • ge n x group – median age is 39 (oh yeah!!!)
  • diverse racially
  • 61% college + … pretty well off
  • They are early adapters – people listen to them.
  • libraries can serve them by having a place to jack into the internet. give them a place to collaborate and share. Enlist them in giving you coaching and feedback on the experiments with tech you want to try

2. ambivalent networkers 7% of pop

  • they have folded mobile devices into how they run their social lives
  • they tie in first place
  • they want a break from it once in awhile
  • younger – median age is 29
  • funky facts – 30% are students, 34% are NOT email users, 83% are cell texters
  • Libraries can serve them by being a sanctuary, and a place where they can go offline. offer a gaming haven, help them figure out the new etiquette of online social networks, help them navigate info overload

3. Media Movers 7%

  • very social group
  • they move media – find, create an info nugget, and pass it on
  • love their cameras
  • 34 is median age, 56% male, well-off
  • Libraries: help them find outlets for sharing their creations, help navigate to material they can pass on to others, info sharing is a social currency – show them how to do it and support it

4. roving nodes 9%

  • active managers of their social and work lives using their mobiel device
  • 56% female, late 30s, well off, educated
  • 100% have cell phone, heavy internet use at home and work
  • librarie: help them be efficient, give them access to tech to they can check in, more efficient parents, teach them about using the cloud apps (calendaring, social bookmarking, etc)

5. Mobile newbies (85)

  • really liek their cell phones
  • they are new converts – getting a cell phone was like a conversion experience for them
  • 55% female, median age 50, slightly less educated and lower income, weighted to minorities a bit
  • libraries: coach, mentor, give them how-to material. offer tech access and support, offer pathways to the wonders of the web – they’re just getting their feet wet and don’t know about the useful and fun stuff they can find online

6.Desktop veterans 13%

  • older veteran online users, use it at work
  • happily connected and stationary.
  • Their cell phone is for making phoncalls
  • 55% male, 46 is median age
  • libraries: offer them access, good connections, they are self-sufficient and don’t need alot of handholding

7. drifting surfers

  • female 56%, 42 median age
  • not into it so much – their husbands and kids use the net more than them and will help them find stuff
  • libraries: don’t force tech on them, your traditional services are what appeals to them, etc

8. information encumbered

  • male 67%, early 50s
  • they feel overloaded, it feels like a burden
  • libraries: sympathize with them, help them navigate, don’t force tech on them, be their filters for information

9. tech indifferent 10%

  • 55% female
  • they can take it or leave it
  • 59 median age
  • libraries: basic tutorials, libraries might be their only access to tech

10. off the network (14%)

  • they don’t have access to the internet, no cell phones
  • they love their old stuff – their landlines, their TVs
  • 57% female, oldest – 67 is median age
  • they tried internet, didn’t work out for them
  • libraries: the traditional stuff, computer 101 classes

5 things when friending libraries:

  1. pathways to problem solving info. we’re the aggregator to our communities
  2. pathways to personal enrichment – we enhance people’s lives
  3. pathways to entertainment in new ways
  4. pathways to new kinds of social networks built around people, media and institutions – ie., you can friend an institution and a media outlet
  5. pathways to the wisdom of crowds, so you fill your own future here…