Public libraries have always played a vital role in the communities they serve. The changing needs and demands of patrons have led to a physical evolution of libraries, including an increase in group work spaces, expanded computer and internet access and dedicated kids and teens hangout areas. Concurrent with this physical transformation has been a change in the way libraries deliver books to readers, with 90 percent now offering digital content to complement their print resources.
In advance of the American Library Association’s Libraries Transforming Communities initiative, OverDrive, the leading eBook and audiobook platform for libraries, conducted an end user survey from June 26-July 15, 2015. Administered via library websites, the survey collected input from 16,756 respondents. This report will utilize this data to examine the positive effect the shift to digital content has had on the role of libraries in their communities by helping attract new readers, serve existing patrons better and reach beyond their physical walls.