Join the National Research Effort on Ebooks and Libraries
Today the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project will begin surveying public library staff and patrons to learn more about their experiences with ebooks. Based on the range of questions I hear from my library colleagues, publishers, and other vendors through ALA’s Digital Content and Libraries Working Group, this initiative couldn’t be more timely. The surveys explore issues ranging from which ebook vendors public libraries use to how patrons use public libraries in person and online to how libraries promote—and how patrons find—library ebooks.
These surveys are part of a larger research effort that is examining the changing role of public libraries in the digital age, and is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The first report in this series was just released and examines the “rise of e-reading” and how people find and consume long-form digital content. That report is available online at libraries.pewinternet.org.
This is an incredible opportunity to increase our understanding of what is happening in public libraries nationwide and the perceptions and expectations of our patrons, as well as to enable better management decisions. I hope public libraries all across the country, in communities of all sizes, will take part in this effort—and encourage your patrons to participate as well. Pew Internet has created a flyer that can be used to get the word out and web code that will embed the survey on your library’s website. You can get access to these resources through Kathryn Zickuhr at email@example.com.
The surveys are live April 16–May 18, and will only take about 15 minutes to complete. In return, we will gain a wealth of information to inform our work: The results will be available as early as this summer.
Here’s where to log on:
1. The first survey (which we hope you’ll take!) is targeted at librarians and other people who work at public libraries that lend ebooks. This survey is password-protected, so please email Kathryn with LIBRARY PASSWORD in the subject line to get the survey URL and log-in information.
2. The second survey is for patrons who check out ebooks from their local public library. It is available here: http://libraries.pewinternet.org/participate/survey/e-book-borrowers. The patron survey also takes about 15 minutes to complete. This survey is not password protected.
Thank you for joining this effort!