E-Book Readers Unaware Of Local Library's E-Book Offerings
June 25, 2012

E-Book Readers Unaware Of Local Library’s E-Book Offerings

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com

Did you know you could borrow e-books from a local library? Well if you didn't, you join the majority of America who also admitted they did not know that detail, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

Research by Pew showed that only 12 percent of e-book readers ages 16 and older borrowed an e-book from their local library in the past year.

Most of those who borrowed the books admit that libraries are important to them and their families, and that they are heavy readers in all formats, according to Pew.

The survey found that e-book borrowers say they have read an average of 29 books in the past year, compared with 23 books for readers who did not borrow e-books from a library.

"Perhaps more striking, the median (midpoint) figures for books reportedly read are 20 in the past year by e-book borrowers and 12 by non-borrowers," Pew wrote in a post regarding its findings.

Not only is the general public not aware it is able to borrow e-books from a library, but neither are e-book readers, according to the findings.

Over 60 percent of respondents said they were not aware that their library offered the ability to check-out ebooks.

The amount of people who are unaware that a library offers e-books is not due to the lack of availability at their library.

According to Pew, three-quarters of the nation's public libraries offer e-books as an option to its users.

"In the general public, even many of those who presumably have an interest in knowing about the availability of free library loans of e-books are not sure about the situation at their local library," Pew wrote in the post.

According to the findings, 58-percent of all library card holders said they do not know if their library provides e-book lending services.

Fifty-five percent of all those who say the library is "very important" to them said they do not know if their library lends e-books.

Pew also said that 53 percent of all tablet computer owners that responded to the survey admitted that they were not sure if their library lends e-books.

The small portion of people who do take advantage of their local library's e-book offerings say their library has a "good" selection. However, 56 percent of e-book borrowers said that at one point or another, they tried to borrow a particular e-book from their library and found that it did not carry it.

For those popular books, e-book readers found that despite the fact that little people knew their local libraries carried e-books, they still found themselves having to wait to borrow a book.

According to the findings, 52 percent of e-book borrowers said that at one point or another they found themselves on a waiting list to borrow a particular book.

Although 58 percent of America has a library card, the majority of those who do said they were more than twice as likely to have bought their most recent book than to have borrowed it, according to Pew.

Library card owners are also 15 percent more likely to be an Internet user, 5 percent more likely to own a cell phone, and 16 percent more likely to own a computer.