Each of these data points has consequences for library strategies in college, university and public libraries.
OK, so here’s the latest stuff for the US and Canada:
“In a first for any age group, more than half of Americans age 25-29 live in households with cellphones but no traditional landline telephones.” “Producer, director and Order of Canada recipient Ivan Reitman speaks on his cellphone as he takes a walk through Yorkville at the Toronto International Film Festival. New figures show Canadians lag behind Americans in adopting cell phones over landlines. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)Among 25- to 29-year-olds, 51 per cent lived in homes with only cellphone service in the first half of 2010. That was up two percentage points from the previous six-month period.”
“A report on phone use by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also found that the younger children are, the likelier they are to live in homes that only have wireless phones. That suggests that younger parents are showing increasing comfort relying only on cellphones even as they adjust from being single to a more settled family lifestyle, according to one of the report’s authors.” “Among children under age three, nearly four in 10 live in wireless-only households. That figure drops to about a third of children age three to five, and less among older children.”
“According to Statistics Canada, 77 per cent of Canadian homes have at least one cellphone. But the proportion of homes with landline service has dropped to 89 per cent, the lowest level since 1965.”
“27 per cent of U.S. households had only cellphones in the first half of this year, up two percentage points since the last half of 2009. That number has been growing rapidly — in the first six months of 2007, just 14 per cent of households relied only on wireless service, roughly half of current U.S. levels.”
“In addition to cell-only households, the survey found another 16 per cent of households have landlines, yet get all or nearly all their calls on their cellphones. Their landlines are usually hooked into computers.
This means that in order to call 43 per cent of U.S. households, the only practical way to do it is to dial their cellphones.”
“The study also found that:
– The households likeliest to rely only on wireless phones consist of adults who are poor, renters, or who live with unrelated housemates.
– Only 13 per cent of households have landlines and no cellphones — down from 24 per cent in early 2007.
– Though people age 18-29 are the heaviest cellphone users, they comprise only 40 per cent of all wireless-only adults. That’s because young adults make up only about one-fifth of the total adult population.
– Only 16 per cent of Northeasterners live in cellphone-only homes, the lowest of any region. The highest frequency of wireless-only households is in the South, where 29 per cent live that way.
– About two per cent of households have no phone service at all, a figure that has changed little in recent years.”
So, the people who attend storytime are more likely to text and only have a cel phone; the people who need homework help in K-12 are also more likely to be cel only; and the people we proudly bridge the digital divide for are more likely to be cel only. And, many don’t answer their landline because there is no ringing phone on the end of it – just an internet device. It is very likely that you need a concerted campaign to update your user registry records and offer text , e-mail and v-mail messages for overdues and holds as well as for program notifications. For students in high school and higher education this is becoming the norm. It is also trending that it is risky to assume that there are family or household phone lines and there are privacy issues to using them. Phones have become personal (and somewhat private) devices.
Sounds like we have an opportunity to get closer to the end user.