A new survey from Pew Research Centre highlights the issues currently facing American public libraries and provides food for thought for public libraries globally.
The report show that while citizens believe that libraries are important community institutions and profess interest in libraries offering a range of new program possibilities there are signs that the share of Americans visiting libraries has edged downward over the past three years, although it is too soon to know whether or not this is a trend.
Many Americans say they want public libraries to:
◾support local education;
◾serve special constituents such as veterans, active-duty military personnel and immigrants;
◾help local businesses, job seekers and those upgrading their work skills;
◾embrace new technologies such as 3-D printers and provide services to help patrons learn about high-tech gadgetry.
Additionally, two-thirds of Americans (65%) ages 16 and older say that closing their local public library would have a major impact on their community. Low-income Americans, Hispanics and African Americans are more likely than others to say that a library closing would impact their lives and communities.
Worth a read!