Library users say they need quiet libraries

The recently published Pew Research report, Library Services in the Digital Age, says users are looking for peace and quiet.

6 February 2013

Laura Miller, writing in Salon, picks up on the Pew Research findings that 76 per cent of American library users want 'quiet study spaces for adults and children', ranking its importance up there with borrowing books and finding information.

But, she says, it looks like library professionals are bent on changing the concept of the library as a quiet space.

Is that what users want, and do libraries have a problem communicating their offer outside the core services everyone knows about? 'The angle taken up by Publishers Weekly and other trade publications, is that libraries have a marketing problem: the reason patrons don’t rate libraries’ non-core activities more highly is because they just don’t know about them.'

And the results just in from a survey of US senior library managers don't make good news - marketing isn't working in libraries. Parallels with the UK in both reports are not hard to find.

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