Apparently, everything. This Pew Internet report – Library services in the digital age – was based on a survey done by Pew, and the results make for insightful reading. An array of questions was posed and some of the results are that: 73% of library patrons in the past 12 months say they visit to browse the shelves for books or media.
54% visit to do research on topics that interest them.
50% visit to get help from a librarian.
49% say they visit to sit, read, and study, or watch or listen to media.
Patrons want the latest technologies, they want help using their handheld devices, and they still want books. There is much more to this report, and it is worth the read for all concerned, patrons and librarians alike. Other reports of interest include: Net Generation Students and Libraries (EDUCAUSE); The Library, Through Students’ Eyes (New York Times); What Students Don’t Know (Inside Higher Ed); Assessment 360: Mapping Undergraduates and the Library at the University of Connecticut (CLIR); The Value of Academic Libraries: A Comprehensive Research Review and Report (ALA); and Students Research the Library (College & Research Libraries News). Also visit the ERIAL Project, an ethnographic look at how students view/use the library. This study has much to tell us.