Released: December 31, 2012

Mobile Connections to Libraries

By , and

Findings

Some 13% of those ages 16 and older have visited library websites or otherwise accessed library services by mobile device. This is the first reading in a national survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project on this subject. An earlier survey in 2009 by scholars at the University of Washington found that 6% of Americans ages 16 and older had used a mobile device to connect to a library site, so the incidence of this activity has doubled since then.1

Those who are most likely to have connected to a library site include parents of minor children, women, and those with at least some college education.

Library website users

In all, the Pew Internet Project survey finds that 39% of Americans ages 16 and older have gone to a library website at one time or another and, of them, 64% visited a library site in the previous 12 months. That translates into 25% of all Americans ages 16+ who visited a library website in the past year.

Those who are most likely to have visited library websites are parents of minors, women, those with college educations, those under age 50, and people living in households earning $75,000 or more.

The 25% of Americans ages 16 and older who went to a library website in the past 12 months tended to do so with modest frequency:

When they were on the sites, users sampled a wide variety of library services. Of those 25% of Americans who went to a library website in the past 12 months:

Cite this publication: Lee Rainie, Kathryn Zickuhr and Maeve Duggan. “Mobile Connections to Libraries.” Pew Research Center, Washington, D.C. (December 31, 2012) http://libraries.pewinternet.org/2012/12/31/mobile-connections-to-libraries/, accessed on July 22, 2014.

  1. Becker, Samantha, Michael D. Crandall, Karen E. Fisher, Bo Kinney, Carol Landry, Anita Rocha. Opportunity for All: How the American Public Benefits from Internet Access at U.S. Libraries. March 2010. Available at: http://www.gatesfoundation.org/learning/Documents/OpportunityForAll.pdf

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