New LRG study- 74% of libraries report increased demand for electronic offerings

“Close to three-fourths of respondents, 74%, report that demand for their libraries’ electronic offerings have increased over the past year”

A new report from Library Resource Guide and Unisphere Research, ” The Digital Squeeze: Libraries at the Crossroads—The Library Resource Guide Benchmark Study on 2012 Library Spending Plans,” shows an increased demand for all types of digital content in libraries. This should come as no surprise, particularly for those librarians in public service fielding the questions about downloading ebooks and streaming movies.   Unisphere Research is the market research unit of Unisphere Media, a division of Information Today, Inc.  The research for the study was sponsored by ProQuest.

Quotes pulled from the report (free download with registration):

“The shift to the digital library has accelerated noticeably since the last survey just a year ago. Close to three-fourths of respondents, 74%, report that demand for their libraries’ electronic offerings have increased over the past year. One-fourth, in fact, indicate that demand for digital resources has grown by more than 20%—up from 18% showing such high demand in the survey a year ago. Only one-third, 34%, report increased demand for print resources, and about the same percentage indicate demand for print is falling. Print demand is off from a year ago as well, when 43% still reported rising patron requests for print-based offerings.”

Specific to ebooks, the report states:

“Demand for ebooks from libraries is soaring, as well. Close to two-thirds of respondents, 62%, say they are seeing rising demand from patrons for ebook access, up from 41% a year ago. There has also been a surge in demand for streaming media resources through libraries, using from 18% to 24% of respondents. Libraries continue to see rising demand as community or campus hot spots. More than two-thirds of respondents indicate that their facilities are sought for their wireless connectivity. This is the same level of demand as a year ago. A similar portion say their libraries serve as gateways for computer and web access.”