Libraries, Patrons, and E-books

Jun 22, 2012

Some 12% of Americans ages 16 and older who read e-books say they have borrowed an e-book from a library in the past year.

Most e-book borrowers say libraries are very important to them and their families and they are heavy readers in all formats, including books they bought and books lent to them. E-book borrowers say they read an average (the mean number) of 29 books in the past year, compared with 23 books for readers who do 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.

But most in the broader public, not just e-book readers, are generally not aware they can borrow e-books from libraries. We asked all those ages 16 and older if they know whether they can borrow e-books from their library and 62% said they did not know if their library offered that service. Some 22% say they know that their library does lend out e-books, and 14% say they know their library does not lend out e-books.

Read the full report, Libraries, Patrons, and E-books, on the Pew Internet & American Life Project's website.

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