Libraries Left Behind
“Survey respondents are generally satisfied with libraries and librarians, but most do not plan to increase their use of libraries. Many of them, particularly teenagers, use the library less since they began using the Internet. Verbatim comments reveal strong attachments to libraries as places, but many of these positive associations are nostalgic in nature and focused on books. As one respondent from the United States commented “…as a child I loved to go downstairs to the children’s section and read books there and take them out. I loved the smell of old books.” This attachment to the traditional nature and purpose of libraries is an asset all libraries share. It is not clear that this attachment extends, or will extend, to electronic resources or that it will have a significant impact on an information consumer’s choice of information sources in the future.
“Respondents do indeed have strong attachments to the idea of the ‘Library’ but clearly expressed dissatisfaction with the service experience of the libraries they use. Poor signage, inhospitable surroundings, unfriendly staff, lack of parking, dirt, cold, hard-to-use systems and inconvenient hours were mentioned many, many times by respondents. The overall message is clear: improve the physical experience of using libraries.”
Online Computer Library Center. Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources (2005). (.pdf, 4.4 MB) No date.
CopyCense™: K. Matthew Dames on the intersection of business, law and technology. A business venture of Seso Digital LLC.