Happy 10th anniversary to the Pew Research Center. Over the last 10 years, we have tackled some of the biggest questions America faces, including questions on topics like the American political landscape, millennials, the impact of the internet, and many more.
Here’s a quick recap.
"A key theme in these survey findings is that many people see acquiring information as a highly social process in which trusted helpers matter,” Lee Rainie, Director of the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project and a main author of the report said. “One of the main resources that people tap when they have questions is the networks of expertise. Even some of the most self-sufficient information consumers in our sample find that libraries and librarians can be part of their networks when they have problems to solve or decisions to make."
— PBS Newshour: Turns out the most engaged library users also biggest tech users
Our latest report takes a quick but informative look at why Americans use social media:
Two-thirds of online adults (66%) use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace or LinkedIn. These internet users say that connections with family members and friends (both new and old) are a primary consideration in their adoption of social media tools. Roughly two thirds of social media users say that staying in touch with current friends and family members is a major reason they use these sites, while half say that connecting with old friends they’ve lost touch with is a major reason behind their use of these technologies.
Other factors play a much smaller role—14% of users say that connecting around a shared hobby or interest is a major reason they use social media, and 9% say that making new friends is equally important. Reading comments by public figures and finding potential romantic partners are cited as major factors by just 5% and 3% of social media users, respectively.
"One of the most interesting things about this [digital] environment to me is that no one has yet come up with a playbook. Everybody’s trying to experiment in interesting ways; everybody’s trying to understand what the new media ecology looks like and how it can serve them. It’s a hard world to figure out."
—Lee Rainie, Director of the Pew Internet Project, quoted in What do Americans want from their libraries? Here’s our chance to find out
For years researchers at the Pew Internet & American Life Project have been tracking changes in our information ecosystem. Now they’ll be looking at the habits and expectations of library users—and nonusers. [next libraries]
How to participate in our new study:
There are two ways to get involved in the Pew Internet Project’s research on American libraries.
- For the first phase of the study, which will begin in the next few months, Rainie will need to identify people who use ebook readers and tablets in libraries. Participants will be asked about their reading habits, how they use their ereaders with library materials, and what the experience is like for them. If you know of ebook-reading patrons who would be willing to participate, contact Rainie at lrainie [at] pewinternet [dot] org.
- For the second phase of the study, which will happen in mid- to late 2012, the Pew Internet Project will be surveying both librarians and community members about library services. Rainie wants to hear from a diverse set of librarians about services they’re now offering, services they’re contemplating, and services they may be seeing less demand for. If you’re a librarian who would like to participate, contact Rainie at lrainie [at] pewinternet [dot] org.
The Project for Excellence in Journalism (a fellow Pew Research project) and The Economist Group have collaborated on the most comprehensive and detailed analysis to date of tablet users and how they get news on their tablets: To what extent are people using their tablets for news rather than other activities? Are they getting more news now than before they had their tablets?
How have mobile devices changed your news consumption habits?
The multi-phase study of nearly 1,200 tablet users and nearly 900 tablet news users offers unprecedented findings on many questions, and will be available on www.journalism.org on Tuesday, October 25.