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March 18, 2008

IMLS Study on the use of libraries, museums and the Internet

IMLS have released the results of a large-scale study looking at current use of libraries, museums and the Internet.

The study concludes that “the amount of use of the Internet is positively correlated with the number of in-person visits to museums and has a positive effect on in-person visits to public libraries.”

For an overview of the conclusions of the study, please see the Conclusions Overview [PowerPoint, 6.8 MB].

I guess that two of the key take-home messages here are that libraries and museums continue to "evoke consistent, extraordinary public trust among diverse adult users" and that the "amount of use of the Internet is positively correlated with the number of in-person visits to museums and has a positive effect on in-person visits to public libraries".  Having said that, I must admit that I'd like to know more about how that positive correlation plays out since, on its own, it's a kind of "well, duh..." statement.  Nonetheless, this looks like an interesting and useful report.

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Comments

This is interesting (if slightly obvious..). On a parallel note, I was talking to a couple of museum people yesterday and they were saying that the overall trends for web visits were showing a flattening of visits (not a drop, but a slowing of the increase) to the "physical visit" related bits of the website but big increases to anything content-rich. This seems to imply a certain amount of long-tailness starting to kick in.

In my experience, the "website as pre-visit portal" has always been the (albeit very, very dull) reason for many of these institution websites. It's great to see that good content is finally in the equation too.

I can feel a blog post coming on...

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