Research on the Benefits of Libraries

Libraries are a central part of our communities and research has been completed both locally and internationally on their benefits.  Please find below a few pieces:
Cross-European survey to measure users’ perceptions of the benefits of ICT in public libraries’ – published by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Surveying a sample of library users, the general population and library staff in 17 European countries in 2012, this report has some interesting findings:

  • Nearly one in four adults in Europe had used a public library in the last 12 months
  • Those living in Finland (67%) and Denmark (57%) were most likely to use libraries
  • Those living in many of the Southern and Eastern European countries have much lower levels of usage e.g. Greece (9%), Portugal (12%), Bulgaria (12%), Italy (14%)
  • The primary motivations for using public computers are the free nature of the service together with the lack of other options that people have.
    Find here
School Libraries and Student Achievement

A study of taxpayer return on investment in Florida public libraries: Details results and study methods part 2
This is part two of an in-depth study of the public libraries in Florida (USA). The results show an $8.32 ROI on every $1 invested.
Find here

Children’s experiences of libraries: A research report on children’s perceptions of library spaces and services, Auckland Libraries

In 2011, 9-13 year olds across the Auckland region were surveyed about their experiences of library spaces and services. Perhaps surprisingly, the research indicated that it is the books themselves that motivates this age group to visit the library.
Find here

The Damage: the public library service under attack – Unison

This report is about the current state of public libraries in the UK. Around 18 of 22 local authorities were accounted for in the survey and, “57% agreed or strongly agreed that since the cuts began they were unable to maintain the same standards, librarians are hard working and 79% felt that they had to work harder to maintain the same standards as existed before the cuts.”
Find here

Envisioning the library of the future – Arts Council of England (ACE)

This report  focuses on four main areas:

  • Placing libraries at the heart of the community
  • Making the most of digital technology
  • Ensuring that libraries are sustainable
  • Developing staff skills for future libraries
    Find here
Community Research


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