On the community side, the public library is one place that many thought was in jeopardy with the growth of technology, particularly as it reached down to the individual level. What has happened in many cases, however, is that libraries have reinvented themselves. Many features are available online at library websites, not to mention hardware and software available in your local neighborhood facility.
The Pew Research Center just released an interesting study that targeted preferences among library visitors, especially on the technology side. Pew found that individuals were either somewhat or very likely to use the following features, among others:
- online "ask a librarian" tool (73%)
- cell phone app with library services (63%)
- a program to test drive new devices (69%)
- an app that uses GPS inside the library to find books (62%)
It's interesting to note that those with lower incomes and less education were the most interested in accessing the various technology features. Technology, however, is viewed as one element within a library that still must work in tandem with printed material. The full report, Library Services in the Digital Age, is posted on the Pew Research website.