Libraries need to evolve digitally, says new report

(26 February 2018) Nearly 90 percent of Australia’s library users think online library services are important, but only 61 percent are satisfied with the online experience they are receiving from libraries. That compares with 85 percent of the users who are happy with the physical experience of a library.

The finding comes in a new report from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). Approximately 600 library users in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and the United Kingdom were surveyed for this report. Respondents indicated that usability (86 percent), free availability (75 percent) and device compatibility (63 percent) were the most valued features of a library website.

Many also suggested that libraries need to offer a more user-friendly online experience, one that is comparable to commercial services, and keeps up with technological change.

The report is called, The intrinsic value of libraries as public spaces – Physical-digital, communicating the new normal. It was developed by the Institute for Public Policy and Governance at UTS and commissioned by software company Civica. It is the latest in a series of ‘Changing Landscapes’ reports, and is the second edition of a series of library reports that first started in 2016. It focusses on the state of library service delivery whilst exploring users’ experiences with libraries and their perceptions of physical and digital spaces. has the full announcement and a link to the report.