Library Attendance

Discussion in 'Career, Work, Finances and Education' started by Tyroc, Apr 18, 2016.

  1. Tyroc

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    Library Attendance Is Declining. Here’s Why

    Quick aside, Librarians and Veterinarians are just two careers in extremely high demand for people of color and if you're still undecided or know someone who is looking towards the future, these are are both rewarding and well paying options.
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    For centuries, libraries have simply been places that house books. This meaning of the word is embedded right within it; the Old French librairie, used in the 14th century, means “collection of books.” An image of dusty stacks comes to mind, but, of course, the form a book can take is changing, and the ways we learn are changing along with it.

    A new Pew study highlighting who uses libraries, how frequently they use them, and what they use them for, reflects these developments.

    The takeaway highlighted by Pew: People who go to libraries identify as “lifelong learners,” and people who identify as “lifelong learners” are more likely to visit a library than people who do not. A smattering of stats elucidate this point. Library users, for example, are “more likely to pursue personal learning activities,” and “more likely to cite positive impacts from personal learning.”

    Learning doesn’t necessarily mean reading books anymore, however. Educational courses, talks and videos are all methods that appeal to a variety of learning types, and reading is only one way to to acquire new knowledge or a new skill. A kinesthetic learner may benefit from a performance, an auditory learner from a talk, a visual learner from a film or book.

    To accommodate these different needs — as well as visitors’ range of income levels — libraries have expanded their purpose to include community events and free Internet use; however, according to the Pew study, many visitors aren’t aware that these services are available. The survey notes that while 62 percent of libraries offer online career and job-related resources, 38 percent of adults don’t know whether their library offers them. Likewise, 35 percent of libraries offer high school equivalency classes, and nearly half of adults don’t know whether their libraries offer them. The numbers are similar for programs on starting a new business, online programs that certify people who’ve mastered a new skill, and ebook borrowing.

    The latter is an especially glaring example of the dissonance between services provided and knowledge of those services. While 90 percent of libraries offer ebook lending, 22 percent of adults say they don’t know whether their library offers ebooks, and 16 percent say their library does not offer ebooks.

    This disparity could be due to the fact that ebook reading isn’t quite as popular as predicted; strain from reading on a screen is proven to hinder learning, and print books are actually preferred, even among digital natives.

    Still, librarians who’ve poured resources — and scant funding — into new initiatives may wince at these numbers. As The Atlantic suggested in a response to the Pew study, it could be that more funding may help librarians attract more attendees, as attendance has declined by 9 percent since 2012. This figure is bolstered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, which reported an 8.2 percent decrease in in-person visits since a peak in 2009. But, the study notes, virtual visits aren’t logged as carefully, so it could be that library-goers — who statistically are a tech-savvy set — are more likely to conduct their visits online.

    Still, many of the services provided by libraries are only available in-person, and advertising those services costs money. The Atlantic writer Robinson Meyer observed, “In other words, there’s empirical evidence that usage tracks investment. If libraries receive more public funds, more people use them.”

    This makes sense. If libraries are providing the services that visitors want — learning resources that can be read, viewed, and experienced — then upping attendance is a matter of getting the word out about exactly what is available.

    Libraries have evolved into much more than houses of books, but their original purpose remains intact, and sacred to attendees (in a 2014 study, 55 percent of respondents said losing a library would be a blow to their community). To preserve reading materials, and to promote new ways of learning, would-be visitors must first learn just what a library can be for.
     
    #1 Tyroc, Apr 18, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2016
  2. ColumbusGuy

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    I wonder if libraries offer stuff on becoming more tech savvy and how to use some of the new devices? One area I could really use the help is this.

    Also yes! for reading from a good old fashioned book. There is just a difference in cozying up in bed with a book or a 'device'.
     
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  3. Tyroc

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    You know where my mind is going with this, perv! LoL
     
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  4. ColumbusGuy

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    ^^I did not even see how badly I set myself up for that!
     
  5. alton

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    I find it a SERIOUS turn on when I see a dude reading a REAL book on the train. Sorry, I know this statement has little to do with the topic LOL
     
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  6. Fanon

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    I think the article should've mentioned that those "life-long learners" that frequent the library either grew up in a house where books were prevalent and the parents stressed the importance of literacy or those life-long learners found the joys of reading on their own terms.

    I'm finding it incredibly difficult to get my students interested in reading (let alone attending a library) and that is in part due to the prevalence of "distractions" (i.e. TV, cell phones, video games, social media, etc.) that occupy an enormous amount of people's lives.
     
  7. ColumbusGuy

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    We had books galore and we were herded to the Main Library in downtown Columbus every two weeks. This was one required thing that I did not protest-I loved reading from very early on and still do. I would much rather read a news story than listen to some reporter's babble. It is still surprising to me for some reason when people do not have books in their homes-not a single book. I have four bookcases crammed into this place along with a built in one-and I still have books in storage. If I were wealthy one room I would have to have in a house would be one of those old fashioned libraries with the high ceilings with the attached ladder on the built in bookcase to swivel around to reach the highest books.
     
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  8. Tyroc

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    Literacy was of the utmost importance in our family and my Mom was happy for me to read a comic book or a toothpaste tube as long as I read something.
     
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  9. DreG

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    This was a job I wanted from early on,and even applied for a few times.I liked hanging out in the library a lot when i was younger nerd alert) so I figured why not get paid for it one day.I like the environment and book access.Even now I'm likely to sit around in the book store for a few hours.
     
  10. ColumbusGuy

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    Bookstores(the regular kind) and nurseries(plants) are two places I can spend hours and hours at.
     
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  11. Dreamwalker

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  12. itsumoconfused

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    I just had the most interesting convo with one of my former advisees and soon to be graduating 8th grader about what are things that he likes and maybe seeing himself doing. He reads sooooo many books, so I suggested maybe working in a library and he was like, "well then I won't be able to make money." I hate when kids focus so much on money in our neighborhood. What in the hell ever happened to love of work and general interest in one's job....?
     
  13. alton

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    "What in the hell ever happened to love of work and general interest in one's job..."
    The economy doesn't allow {the majority of} Americans that luxury. Most people have no choice but to take a job they hate because it "pays good". Gotta pay the bills and maintain a roof overhead, and still have enough left over for food, general living expenses, and GOD forbid, emergencies.
     
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    Nothing beats a real book. I'm certain the onslaught of apps, free off downloads and so many library's offering online library options has more to do with the lower attendance than they are willing to admit. I think things like kindle or jstor are convenient but man I miss turning a real page when I use them and that's why I still check out books or hit up a book store fairly often.
     
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