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The Impacts of the Internet on Public Library Use in New Zealand in 2002


In 2000 a survey of 3097 US adults provided a grasp on the shape of the market for Internet and library services. Results indicated a complementary relationship between the two information providers which would nevertheless require monitoring.

A telephone survey conducted from February-April 2002 in the Waikato of 829 randomly selected over eighteen year olds, in partial replication of that conducted in the US in 2000, revealed:

73% of Internet users in New Zealand in 2002 were users of the library.

21 services offered by libraries were patronised 10.7% more heavily on average by users of the Internet than library users who did not use the Internet.

Internet-only use and Internet & library use rose as the demographic grew younger whilst library-only users declined, as did users of neither. The exception of a decrease in Internet & library users amongst 18-30 year olds indicated the very real prospect of library use diminishing over time. This was compounded by cross-country comparison.

Using an average weighted by library popularity, of Internet and library users who chose to use only one provider for quick reference needs, 72% only used the Internet. For work related needs 81% only used the Internet, whilst for leisure 59% only used the library.

Access the full text here - (557KB).

A 4500 word version of this was published in NZ Libraries : the Academic Journal for the Library and Information Profession in February, 2003

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The Excel file that was used to capture the data for this research contains 35,000 bits of manipulable raw data. If you'd like access to this, or have a particular problem that this data may be able to solve, please contact the author.


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