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Participate now in public library ebook research

Participate now in public library ebook research

via The PLA Blog by Kathleen Hughes on 16/04/12

The ALA, IMLS, COSLA and other library leaders are advisors on a national research effort studying the changing role of public libraries in the digital age, as well as the experiences and expectations of public library users.  The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has funded the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project to conduct surveys and provide analysis related to reading and e-reading; the changing world of public library services and the choices public libraries must make; and a typology of who does – and does not – use public libraries. As many of you know, Pew is a national leader in this kind of research, and their reputation and reach are high and wide – and the Project is interested in learning about the work and opinions of public librarians.  We believe this effort will provide the kind of data-based information public libraries are demanding to proactively meet changing community needs and advocate for the future. And, like all research efforts, it can’t happen without you. The first major report in this series was just released and examined the “rise of e-reading” and how people find and consume long-form digital content. That report is available online here.

The next report in this research series will look specifically at people’s experiences in public libraries, especially their use of e-books and other digital services. To inform this research, Pew is supplementing its usual nationally representative phone surveys with two online surveys to draw out the deeper, richer stories behind the data:

1.     The first survey is targeted at librarians and other people who work at public libraries that lend e-books. We’d like your input; please take the survey!! It is available here: and takes about 15 minutes. To log in, please use your preferred email address as your username; the password is PEWLIBS.

2.     The second survey is for patrons who check out e-books from their local public library. It is available here: It also takes about 15 minutes. This survey is not password protected.

Pew has created a brief message (available below) that you can share via your website, e-newsletters, social media and other dissemination methods, as well as a flyer and code that can be used to embed the survey on your library’s website. To get the Web code and/or flyer, please contact Kathryn Zickuhr at kzickuhr. The surveys will be live April 16 through May 18, and the next report will be available this summer. Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, will provide an update on the Pew library research on Sunday, June 24, at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim.

Thank you in advance for your participation in and support of this effort!

Patron message template:  Have you ever checked out an e-book from your public library?

The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, a non-profit research organization in Washington, DC, is conducting an online survey of public library patrons who borrow e-books. If you have checked out or downloaded e-books from a public library, please consider taking Pew Internet’s survey, available at the link below. All responses will be confidential, although your answers may be quoted anonymously in a future report. The survey should take about 15 minutes.

To take the survey, visit:

The Pew Internet Project will also be doing broader surveys of public library patrons general, as well as people (including non-library-users) who own e-readers or tablet computers. If you want to participate in those, you can sign up to be notified of future surveys here.

To learn more about the Pew Internet Project’s research on e-reading and public libraries, which is entirely free and available to the public, visit



Posted on: April 22, 2012, 8:03 pm Category: Uncategorized