Print and ebooks go hand in hand for active library users, and publishers should take note
A new report from LJ indicates that it is vital for libraries to connect with digital patrons, especially ebook readers, and satisfying their expectations has a meaningful upside for both the library users and the publishing community.
The report, “Mobile Devices, Mobile Content, and Library Apps,” a part of LJ’s ongoing Patron Profiles series, points out that even though digital users—defined as a patron who uses a smartphone, ereader, or tablet—remain a minority, they are, nonetheless, more active than the general patron not only in digital services but also “in virtually every metric of library activity.” As such, they could guide librarians in understanding the intersection of their print holdings and their growing digital collections.
“What we are trying to do with Patron Profiles is to help librarians better understand their patrons as consumers of media, or content, and how patrons are using libraries as content providers, particularly digital content,” said Ian Singer, VP and group publisher for LJ, School Library Journal, and The Horn Book. “The preferences and behaviors we are finding are key to helping libraries keep pace with the overarching trends in digital consumption and technologies that enable both reading and discovery of content,” he said.
LJ surveyed 2,155 library patrons in conjunction with Bowker PubTrack Consumer, and the results were analyzed by Steve Paxhia and John Parsons, who also prepared the highly regarded November 2011 ebook study from the Book Industry Study Group.