Technology: Libraries of the Future [Infographic]

As technology advances so do the needs of library patrons. People of all ages now have computers, cell phones and/or tablets within arm’s reach at any given moment. They have become use to the idea of having information at their fingertips, many people get deterred if the information they are looking for isn’t readily available.

libraries of the futureThere are currently over 17,000 public libraries in the United States. Libraries are adjusting their lines of communication to keep up with the technology trends. Giving patrons the information that they need when they want it and as easily as possible is just one of their approaches. Approximately 69% of Americans currently use libraries and 30 million Americans rely on libraries and the technology that they offer to help them find jobs.

Many of today’s libraries are also offering mainstream tech options for patrons such as e-books and even e-readers. In fact, 94% of libraries provide 24/7 access to e-books and other digital content. Libraries also find themselves becoming more mobile friendly with responsive website design and smartphone applications. 90% of libraries offer basic digital literacy training, including how to use your smartphone.

Another way libraries are communicating with patrons and utilizing technology is through social media. The vast majority of libraries have their own website and most of those libraries also have a social media presence. Libraries are using social media now more than ever before. Libraries like to use social media to share events and pictures and to educate people about services they offer. They tend to prefer Facebook as their go to platform but many also use Twitter and Instagram.

There have been many changes within the library system over the past few years. Our infographic breaks down the library system statistics for you.

If you’re interested in reading more about libraries of the future and their technology needs, see the following blog articles:

Why Monitoring Library Usage Is So Important

Libraries Under Pressure: How Library Patron Counters Can Help

Library Technology Improving Patron Experiences


Doug Collier avatar
Doug Collier says

As a librarian for the past thirty some years I understand the need to have an internet presence if you will but is there really a need for a library website as well as a social media presence? To me that's overkill in that both can and do present most of the same info.

Jessica Lipply avatar
Jessica Lipply says

Hi, Doug! Great question! As a Marketing professional, I like to think of a website and social media in a hub and spoke model, where your website is the hub and social media platforms are the spokes. Your library’s website is the hub of information about your offerings, services, staff, events, etc. A website alone will inform visitors who seek it out by directly going to your website for said information. However, the spokes being social media (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc.) extend your library’s reach by pushing information to people who may otherwise not seek out your library’s website. Social is also great for libraries because it offers a sense of community, for example, a teenager sees your library’s post on Instagram for a video gaming event, then sees several of his friends liked or commented (showed interest) in the event and decides to also participate. The timing of the message and influence from community are difficult to replicate using a website alone. But at the end of the day, social media is only as successful as the strategy behind it. It’s important to make sure the platforms and messaging are in line with your library’s mission. I hope that sheds light on why many libraries and businesses have adopted social media presence.

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