Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Survey Says: Library Borrowers Also Buyers. Do you buy books or eBooks?

A recent survey reaffirm what librarians already know: libraries play a key role in readers’ book-buying decisions.

This conclusion came from a survey conducted in June and July of this year at thousands of OverDrive-powered public library websites in the United States, the poll found that patrons purchase an average of 3.2 books (both print and e-books) each month, and a majority would consider purchasing books discovered on a library website.

With more than 75,000 respondents, the survey constitutes the largest study of library eBook usage to date. The findings echo those of earlier studies, such as the Pew Internet Project’s “Libraries, Patrons, and E-books,” revealing that a significant percentage of library users regularly purchase books they first discover at the library. In the OverDrive-ALA survey, 57 percent of respondents said that the public library is their primary source of book discovery.

Key Findings
  • Public library is primary source of book discovery for 57 percent of respondents
  • Library patrons purchase average of 3.2 books per month (including print and e-books)
  • Patrons’ digital book purchases have increased in past six months (44%)
  • 35 percent of respondents have purchased a book (print or e-book) after borrowing that title
  • Nearly half (48 percent) of respondents report household income greater than $75,000

To see the full survey data, download this PDF.

Tell us if you would or have purchased books or eBooks discovered at your library.

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