Keynote: How libraries add value to communities

Note: Next year’s conference is March 21-23 at the Hilton again.

Lee Rainie, Director Pew Internet Project


Twitter: Lrainie

pew pew pew slide (token cat picture)

No agenda or position or anything. PEW generates primary useful information for their stakeholders, like librarians.

emperor of keynotes? &”monarch of twitter feedback” @itsjustkate tweet

Internet and Broadband Revolution (Revolutionary war picture)

  • 24% of Americans only have cell phones (no landline): 50% are under 30.
  • Change in internet use by age, 2000-2010 graph: in about 2007, flattening of Internet growth begins. Librarians have been helpful in teaching the resistant population, to feel comfortable with the technology and space.
  • Home broadband adoption, 2000-2010 graph: Dialup vs. Broadband: 2/3 of adults still have broadband (Comment: What’s their broadband metric? What’s the definition of broadband??; sister in rural area can only get 300K or 700K “high-speed” internet — that’s never going to stream YouTube, let alone Netflix, yet in most cases, still fits the broadband definition)
  • Broadband adoption by community type rural vs urban vs suburban does drastically vary
  • Demographic factors correlated w/ broadband adoption: positive: parents with children higher adoption rates of broadband; higher education=higher broadband adoption; higher household income; married/living w partner; employed full time; negative: high school degree or less; senior citizen; spanish, disabled; unemployed
  • Consequence for info ecosystem: Volume; Velocity; Vibrance; Valence/Relevance; explosion of creators
  • 62% of users are social networking site users; 55% share photos (these people are drastically different than non-photo-sharers); 14% are bloggers; 12% use Twitter; 4-17% use location-sharing services
  • where you are is an important part of your mission; didn’t use to be that way
  • location is a new layer of information; useful to understand

Big challenge for libraries: atoms –> bits

Big value-add by libraries

1. Cover access divides

  • 44% of those living below the poverty line used library connections
  • 61% of those ages 14-24 used them for school
  • 54% of poor senior citizens used library connections for health/wellness needs
  • 63% used library connections to help others [using it on behalf of someone else]

Opportunity for All, University of Washington Gates Foundation; IMLS Report

How PEW asks it’s questions on Broadband speeds (thanks @PEW_Internet for fast response to my question!)

2. Cover participatory divides

  • 2/3 of lib connection users sought assistance from library staff
  • 60% of library connectors use them for social purposes
  • 42 % for education purposes
  • 40% for job/career purposes
  • 37% health and wellness purposes
  • 33% for community engagement
  • libraries are great places for teaching about online environment.
  • tell stories, get views out, better contributors

But there is more libraries can do

relevance and digital literacy are primary factors for not getting online

  • Availability 6%
  • Usability 18%
  • Price 21%
  • Other 7%
  • Relevance 47%

Need to show them availability of Health info, news, govt officials, political process.

Bad information for the people with these above opinions. Libraries can help with this. More handholding, mentoring….

2. Wireless Connectivity Revolution

  • Cell phone owners – 85% adults own cell phones now.
  • Fasted adoption of technology around the globe than any other in the history of human species

Things people do:

  • go online w laptop
  • go online wireless w cell phone

Mobile internet connectors 57% adults (43% still don’t have it)

Usage by demographics

  • Urban 80
  • Suburban 60
  • Rural 43

Positive correlation: college grad; 75K household income; parent of minor child

Negative correlation: less than hs education; 30K household; rural; ??

Cell phones as social tools: photo video/access social networking site; watching videos/ post online; purchased a product….

Apps: 35% have apps; no apps 47%; no cell 18%; use an app: 24%

App user profile: Male/young/well educated/affluent

Stephen Abrams point (Comment: I think that’s what he said) Web: who what when and where; apps world: how and why (databases, customized reliable info from trusted sources)

Web still good for lots of things.

What’s good in one space. What’s good in other spaces. Very good points. [Definitely agree with this: apps on phone & tablet for certain information consumption; use laptop and desktop apps/web browser for content creation right now]

  • 55% of adults own laptops
  • 7% of adults own ebook readers (kindle)
  • 7% of adults own tablets – iPad doubled in 6 months; iPad number may be up to 10% now; 75K +: number may be 25%

Consequences for info ecosystem: Anywhere; any  device; place presence; anytime; alone together (also book title); can always be interrupted;

Big challenges for libraries:

People come to us –> we go to people

The library as place becomes the library as placeless resource.

Big value for libraries:

  • help navigate and “make peace” with info: the HOW and the WHY
  • apps vs. web vs. traditional resource locators
  • libraries consider the public good much better than the media companies
  • real time info matters more and people want access
  • embedded actors in realtime sharing of info
  • context of information – augmented reality: overlay reality with data & stories
  • [Comment: Lacygne Historical Podcasts through the library]
  • Sanctuary – quiet place

3. Social Networking Revolution

The social networking population is more diverse than you might think.

  • Old People can network socially too [note from his slide :)]
  • 48% of the population uses social network
  • Parents and Grandparents friending kids and grandkids

Demographic factors

  • Positive: under age 30; female (overall use more); men (frequently use); parent w minor child at home; some college; urban
  • Negative: senior citizen (65+); rural; non-cell user; disability

Online video

Video creation

Online social networks + ubiquitous mobility

  • Social networks are their homepages: first thing in morning and last thing at night.
  • Social dashboard: FOMO: Fear of Missing out.
  • Pervasive awareness: what’s going on in your world (pre-Internet data not available): do people know more about friends and family than they ever did anymore? Yes, it looks so, but can’t go back in time to figure this out for sure.
  • Allows for immediate spontaneous creation of networks (crowdsourcing; mobs — Howard Reingold)
  • Gives people a sense that there are more “friends” in their networks that they can access when they have needs (PLNs)

Big shift for libraries: expertise and influence shifts to networks

  • Share the stage with amateur experts

Big value-add by libraries

1. Can be embedded in….

  • Watch how people have needs and desires for information in networks and contribute to it. (Buffy Hamilton in the classroom :))
  • Spaces
  • Attention zones: continuos partial attention (all devices on; hard to concentrate; always interrupted — can’t go off the grid); deep dives (amateur experts): medical situations; “golden age of amateur experts”; info-snacking (Angry birds) — have a little time to kill (in line, etc.); Day dreaming??? (Erica got at this in Elegance)
  • Media zones: Social streams; immersive; Creative/participatory (research; make something new); Study/work (where we’ve shined for eons)
  • Use Different approaches to be truly effective

2. Can be nodes in social networks

  • As sentries: word of mouth matters more
  • As information evaluators: they vouch for/discredit a business’s credibility and authenticity (ping smarter people in their networks about something); scale tippers
  • As forums for action: everybody’s a broadcaster/publisher: people listening and watching.

Cosmic things

1. Can be teachers of new literacies: screen literacy: Graphics & symbols; navigation literacy: connections and context literacy; skepticism; value of contemplative time; how to create content; ethical behavior in new world;

USC researcher: Henry Jenkins (participatory divide)

2. Can help fill in civic gaps: the big sort among institutions: public, private, non-profit re-imagining roles; the big sort on news and info landscape; the big empowerment and move to networked individuals

Librarians get “how precious information is” Be not afraid.