Study: Two-thirds of U.S. libraries offer e-books

More than 67 percent of U.S. libraries now offer access to e-books, up 12 percent from two years ago, the 2011 Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study has found.

Meanwhile, 70 percent of libraries report increased use of their public computers, and more than half report an increase in electronic resources use. However, 55 percent of urban libraries have seen their operating budgets decrease in the current fiscal year (36 percent for suburban and 26 percent for rural), according to the study, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Amazon’s Kindle is working with OverDrive, currently the top digital distributor for libraries, to begin supporting library lending in the autumn, according to paidContent. Barnes & Noble has also announced it will partner with distributor Baker & Taylor, which has created library lending platform Axis 360, to “build awareness among Nook customers that digital books are available for loan from local libraries.”

The most important public Internet service is providing services for job-seekers, a majority of libraries said. More than 74 percent offer software and other resources to help people create employment materials, such as resumes.

Image: American Library Association’s 2011 Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study
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