Card catalogs might have been replaced with computers, but libraries still keep book lovers in their embrace. Regardless of the technological changes and the possibility to read online, people still prefer to check out books from libraries.
Real books, which are placed on shelves and are made of paper, are still the first choice of most readers in the United States. Somehow, people love to touch and smell them.
A recent study by Pew Research Center shows that 48% of Americans, who read a book in 2015, checked it out from a library. Although people have the chance to read on computers and search databases in libraries, they still prefer to borrow books. As an overall, borrowing books outpace resources found in digital form and printed books outpace audio and e-books.
Less than 5% of American readers use digital sources and e-books. Although this percentage at the Bourbonnais Public Library was a tad higher, it still didn’t go higher than 10%.
To give you an idea of the great difference among the two forms of books, only 1,000 audio and e-books are signed out every month in comparison to the 10,000 books which are checked out monthly. The truth is that the number of e-books and audio books checked out of the Bourbonnais Public Library is double than the number of the books signed out in 2014 according to the library director, Diana Dillinger. That’s due to the convenience of checking out e-books and audio books from any location. Readers do not have to visit the library but borrow a book from any location and read it whenever they can.
The survey also discovered that people love visiting libraries to conduct research and this is done mostly by people over 16 years of age. This is not surprising since younger people can do research at school libraries and on the web. Older people use the databases in public libraries to search for a job or find political articles, especially with the election season approaching.