Surely at some point soon we can get cardholders to know that libraries have e-books. It seems a simple matter to collect cardholders e-mail addresses and phone numbers and addresses and tell them. You must already have a poster at the door and circulation desk. We keep getting this great data from the Pew and things are changing too slowly with regards to public knowledge. Oh, and don’t forget to promote more than your fiction e-books too – non-fiction and reference matters too.
Pew Releases New Numbers About eBook Reading, eReader Usage, and Library Use in Different Communities
What Does the Report Cover?
- The General Reading Habits of Americans
- E-reading Device Ownership
- The State of E-Book Reading
- Where and How Readers Get Their Books
- Library Use Across Communities
- Differences Between Heavy, Light, and Non-book readers Across Community Type
Comments and Reaction
From the Report:
“Roughly two thirds (63%) of residents in each type of community say they do not know if their public library loans e-books; two in 10 say their library does.”
As we’ve said thousands of times, people have no chance of using a service if they don’t know about it. If you don’t properly market what you have to offer (and libraries offer a lot of services, many accessible 24x7x365) this is what happens. It’s not easy but we have to due better especially in a world where people are bombarded with new digital services, apps, and more all day, everyday.
”City residents are most likely to prefer ebooks over print, and they’re more likely than suburban readers to read more because of digital availability, whereas rural readers who have read in both electronic and print formats tend to prefer print.”
In rural areas where people prefer print (at least as of the time this survey was taken) and just about everywhere else why are libraries RUSHING to spend gobs of money on ebooks that we don’t even own? User needs and ownership issues might change moving forward but now and in the next few years, it’s important that non-ebook services including print collections are not being short changed. There is only so much money to go around. Will we be paying in the future because of the “we need to have lots of ebooks frenzy” the library community is experiencing today? Sure, ebooks are popular with some library users but does this mean all library users? Let’s not lose site of them.
“Even urban readers who don’t read ebooks already are most interested in classes to learn about ebooks from the library.”
The positive thing here and something that we’ve mentioned in the past we believe that library users need and want help learning about and using technology, not only ereaders. We believe this area is a natural fit for public libraries and offers a service unavailable elsewhere.”