In addition to use habits, Pew compiled a laundry list of items patrons want from their libraries:
The ability to borrow books (80%).
More e-books (83%).
IPS navigation for locating books (62%).
Access to reference librarians (80%).
Redbox-style kiosks for renting books in public spaces outside the library (63%).
Free access to Internet-connected computers (77%).
An online “ask a librarian” service (73%).
Access to library materials via apps (63%).
An area to try out new devices (69%).
Amazon-style recommendation engines based on past checkout history (64%).
Free literacy programs for young children (82%).
Yet when asked whether they would be willing to give up existing resources to make room for these things — to move some books to off-site storage centers to make sense for a device-testing center, for instance — only 20% of survey participants said they were in favor. Thirty-six percent said libraries should “definitely” not move books off-site.
Which sums up the whole problem, really.
All of this makes me shake my head when I see the stories that have come out about “bookless libraries”.
Patrons want to have their cake and eat it, too, and why not?
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