August 14, 2022

LINK: Survey Says Library Users Are Your Best Customers via PW

A groundbreaking new study shows the value of libraries to

the book and the ebook business.

Publishers Weekly’s Andrew Albanese reports on Library Journal’s newest Patron Profiles research effort in conjunction with Bowker PubTrack Consumer: 

This month Library Journal released the first issue of a quarterly publication called Patron Profiles. Based on surveys and data collected from library users across the country, the first issue—on libraries and e-book usage—indicates that libraries are a powerful economic engine for the book business.

“There are a lot of assumptions about what library users do,” said LJ executive editor Rebecca Miller. “We wanted to dispel the assumptions and fill in the gaps in data. We wanted to get a realistic picture of the digital transition, so we thought a national trending survey that reveals the media consumption of library users made great sense.”

Miller says LJ editors have been amazed by the strength of the findings so far—including the degree to which libraries are boosting book sales. “Our data show that over 50% of all library users report purchasing books by an author they were introduced to in the library,” Miller noted. “This debunks the myth that when a library buys a book the publisher loses future sales. Instead, it confirms that the public library does not only incubate and support literacy, as is well understood in our culture, but it is an active partner with the publishing industry in building the book market, not to mention the burgeoning e-book market.”

LJ partnered with ProQuest, Baker & Taylor, Random House, and The Rowman and Littlefield Publishing Group to support this year long trending survey of approximately 2500 public library patrons. While Patron Profiles will continue to collect trending data on digital consumption and new reading technologies, each issue has a specific focus.  In 2012, look for: Mobile Devices, Mobile Content, and Library Apps (Jan., 2012), Library Web Sites and Virtual Services (April, 2012), and Media Consumption and Library Use (July 2012).

Visit for information on how to subscribe to these reports.

Read the entire article at:  Survey Says Library Users Are Your Best Customers

Barbara Genco About Barbara Genco

After a long career in collection management at Brooklyn Public Library, and a decade as their Director of Collection Development, Barbara Genco joined Library Journal in fall 2009 as Editor, Collection Management. Follow her on Twitter @BarbaraAGenco.