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Libraries Continue to Redefine Themselves for the Digital Age: As Budgets Bounce Back, Investment Goes to “E” Not Print


By RobColding - Posted on 03 September 2013

For Immediate Release
For more information, contact:
Thomas Hogan, Jr
Information Today, Inc.
thoganjr@infotoday.com
609-654-6266 Ext. 312

According to a new ProQuest-sponsored report published today by Information Today, the library is going digital at an accelerating pace. In the wake of the downturn of 2009–2010, library budgets have bounced back or are holding steady, led by a return of funding to many community public libraries. However, any new revenues coming in are not going to revive print collections. The emphasis is now overwhelmingly digital, as libraries scramble to meet an ever-increasing demand for digital and online content.

Key findings from the survey include the following:

  • Library budgets are bouncing back or holding steady in the wake of several years of a lackluster economy. But budget growth overall has been lukewarm. Public community libraries experienced the largest share of budget increases, while academic libraries have seen little growth. Digital continues to grow as a proportion of content acquisition budgets for all types of libraries.
  • Three-fourths of libraries continue to see rising demand for electronic resources, while more move away from print. Close to nine out of 10 public community libraries report seeing demand for ebooks, which leads the way in purchasing intentions.
  • Providing technology-based access is now the top priority as libraries redefine their roles as digital knowledge centers. However, these goals continue to clash with tight budgets, which makes selecting and maintaining platforms and skills an ongoing challenge.

Titled “Libraries: At the Epicenter of the Digital Disruption,” the report is sponsored by ProQuest and conducted by the Library Resource Guide in conjunction with Unisphere Research. The report analyzes responses from 796 library directors, administrators, managers and librarians and reveals current spending patterns for public, academic, and special libraries. It also provides projections for budgets and spending trends for 2013 and 2014. The report is segmented into three main reporting sections:

  1. Library Finances: Public Libraries Regroup
  2. Library Technologies and Services: Ebooks on the Rise
  3. Library Strategies: Redefining Mission for the Digital Age

Reporting is broken down by library segment and includes three years of comparative data. “It’s a unique resource for library budgeting and planning as well an indispensible look at the trends in the library market.” says Thomas Hogan Jr, President of Unisphere Research.

There is no charge to download the full report. Simply register and download the report at http://www.libraryresource.com/Downloads/ResearchReports.

About Library Resource Guide, Unisphere Research, and Information Today, Inc.

The Library Resource Guide and Unisphere Research are divisions of Information Today, Inc. (www.infotoday.com), a diversified media company that provides independent editorial content and peer-based market research to targeted communities through its own print and electronic media, and custom and contract publishing. Unisphere Research, the company's market research unit, conducts proprietary and custom research projects related to technology in various markets. Unisphere has pioneered user group-based research and has built its editorial products in conjunction with its user community-based market insight.

About ProQuest (www.proquest.com)
ProQuest connects people with vetted, reliable information. Key to serious research, the company’s products are a gateway to the world’s knowledge including dissertations, governmental and cultural archives, news, historical collections and e-books. ProQuest technologies serve users across the critical points in research, helping them discover, access, share, create and manage information.

The company’s cloud-based technologies offer flexible solutions for librarians, students and researchers through the ProQuest®, Bowker®, Dialog®, ebrary®, EBL® and Serials Solutions® businesses – and notable research tools such as the Summon® discovery service, RefWorks Flow™, Pivot™ and Intota®, a new library services platform. The company is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with offices around the world.

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