Released: June 29, 2013

The Myth and the Reality of the Evolving Patron


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The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) hosted Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, for “The Myth and the Reality of the Evolving Patron: The RUSA President’s Program” on Saturday, June 29 at the 2013 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago; RUSA  also hosted a discussion of the issues presented at the program on Sunday, June 30.

“The Myth and the Reality of the Evolving Patron” will took place from 4-5:30p.m. on Saturday, June 29. Rainie, co-author of the new book “Networked: The New Social Operating System,” and lead researcher on new studies of adults and teens shared the latest data about how Americans are interacting with information technology and electronic books. Program participants learned more about how Americans think about libraries and information, their use of library services, and what they value–important information that can help libraries improve collections and services.

“Libraries exist to serve our users,” said RUSA President Mary Popp. “It is important to meet them where they are and to develop the collections and services they want. The research now being done by the Pew Project provides us with authentic information about what our patrons and our potential users value. The focus of this research is on public libraries, but there is a great deal of data here for academic, school and special libraries as well. Lee Rainie will give us both information from the research and suggestions about additional questions to ask in our local communities, and the follow-up discussion will provide more ideas for all of us to take home.”

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