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ERIC Number: ED525512
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Apr
Pages: 57
Abstractor: As Provided
U.S. Public Libraries and the Use of Web Technologies, 2010. A Closer Look
Lietzau, Zeth; Helgren, Jamie
Library Research Service
It's well known that technology is changing at an increasingly rapid pace and that many public libraries throughout the United States are attempting to adopt new technologies to better reach their patrons. In trade journals, blogs, and at library conferences, professionals in the field have continually discussed the best methods for using web technologies to enhance the success of the public library. In keeping with this discussion, in late 2007 the Library Research Service (LRS) designed the first iteration of the U.S. Public Libraries and the Use of Web Technologies study. In the midst of a conversation largely focused on best practices, this study was envisioned from its inception as a longitudinal study with several goals. Primarily, it attempts to record the landscape of web technology adoption by public libraries in the United States. While most of the discourse thus far has focused on what should and should not be done to better use technologies, there has not yet been much research examining how and how many libraries actually are adopting various web technologies. This study attempts to put that in perspective. Another intention of this study is to examine the characteristics of the libraries that are adopting technology in an attempt to tease out the factors that lead them to try out various tools. We are also interested in determining whether or not the adoption of specific types of technology leads to "success" as traditionally defined in public libraries. This report represents the second iteration, and refinement, of the study. In the vein of the first study, this version was conducted as a content analysis, as opposed to a survey to the field. Please see the first report for an explanation of the benefits and drawbacks to this methodology. During the spring of 2010, LRS staff members visited the web sites of 689 public libraries in the United States, searching for the presence of various technologies. The national sample was comprised of 584 libraries, while the remaining 105 were Colorado public libraries that had not been selected as part of the national sample. This report captures a changing landscape of web technology adoption by public libraries and looks further into the characteristics and successes of libraries that adopt technology. Library 2.0 survey is appended. (Contains 9 tables, 31 charts, and 3 footnotes.) [This report was produced by the Library Research Service (LRS), a unit of the Colorado State Library, Colorado Department of Education that partners with the Library and Information Science Program, Morgridge College of Education, University of Denver.]
Library Research Service. Colorado Department of Education, 201 East Colfax Avenue Suite 309, Denver, CO 80203. Tel: 303-866-6900; Fax: 303-866-6940; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Colorado Department of Education, Library Research Service
Identifiers - Location: Colorado; United States