Released: December 11, 2013

Pew study: library use down, but Americans value services

Library use is down this year, but a vast majority of Americans still say public libraries are important for their communities.

Slightly less than half of Americans — 48 percent — visited a library or bookmobile in person this year, down from 53 percent in November 2012, according to a study released today by the Pew Research Center. Although more peopleare using library websites (30 percent, up from 25 percent in 2012), total library use is still down (from 59 percent last year to 54 percent in 2013).


Americans again indicated that they value libraries: 94 percent said a public library improves the quality of life in a community. If their local library closed, 90 percent said it would have an impact on the community.

Even “people who don’t rely on public libraries as much in their own lives say they value libraries as important resources for the community at large,” Zickuhr writes in the report.

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