News Bits

By Christine Volker

A report, called the Impact Survey, was released recently, focusing on public library patrons across the country. Patrons’ use of libraries’ public computers or wireless connections was surveyed and analyzed. The variety of uses and the importance in people’s lives was pretty interesting.

Following are key categories of the informational needs/activities of the 68% of overall library patrons who used the public library’s computers/wireless services. So, for example, 32% of those patrons used the resource for employment purposes. (Since patrons can have more than one category of usage, the percentages below do not total 100%.)

  • 37% – Social Engagement (keeping up with family and friends via technology)
  • 32% – Employment (applying for jobs, receiving training, researching careers)
  • 32% – Civic Engagement (keeping up with news, current events, civic/political activity)
  • 31% Health and Wellness (finding out about diseases, exercise, learning about diets, applying for healthcare)
  • 31% eCommerce (researching products, online travel arrangements, banking)
  • 29%- eGovernment (applying for government programs, learning about government)
  • 28% – Education (that means applying to schools, for scholarships, taking online courses, or doing research for a class, applying for financial aid)
  • 8% – Entrepreneurship (researching, finding opportunities)
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