Libraries face several challenges related to growing popularity of the digital content. Despite economic crisis they will be doing very well, if they only provide what their customers are looking for. So, what’s the future of libraries, and how libraries of the future will look like?
The infographic from Open Site, one of the best we’ve seen about libraries, clearly shows that there is a huge demand for technology. 7 in 10 libraries have reported an increased usage of computers. The bottle neck is that there are not enough computers – 76% of libraries say they don’t have enough computers to meet demand.
The next part of the infographic is extremely important, as it answers the question “why is it important to give access to the web to library patrons”. 30 million Americans rely on libraries to find a job, and 72% of libraries help complete online job applications. And this is just one area of activity.
When you look at library usage trends, both in circulation and library visits, you’ll see that most tested areas enjoyed growth. One of the reasons is the availability of books in a digital format. 67% of American libraries offered downloadable ebooks in 2011. It’s twice as much as in 2007.
Embracing the digital book will not necessarily lead to bookless library. Customers will be asking for books in both print and ebook format.
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