U.S. Public Libraries: A Snapshot of Priorities & Perspectives, based on a survey conducted by OCLC, found that most public library staff anticipate that the top reason patrons are using their library will change in five years, though most of those think the change will be modest. Today, however, borrowing books and materials remain the top reason patrons use the library, at 62 percent, followed by technology at 33 percent, according to the report published on March 21.
Perhaps because it combines the two, most public library staff are focusing on e-books as one of their three top priorities, along with ensuring internet access and demonstrating value to funders. Public library staff expect both physical and online use of the library to increase, though growth of online use received a whopping 85 percent vote of confidence, compared to the narrow 55 percent majority of physical traffic increase. (Ebooks and other electronic resources also rank as the top initiative, with buildings/facilities a distant second.)
To keep themselves in the loop, most librarians focus on listservs and journals, though the most junior librarians are more likely to use social media.
A similar report based on OCLC’s survey findings from academic librarians will be published in the coming months.