Friday, May 23, 2008

Information-seeking study

This new report offers insight into the ways people search for information in the online age, and how this affects the ways they interact with public libraries and museums, both online and in person. Findings include:
* Libraries and museums are the most trusted sources of online information among adults of all ages, education levels, races, and ethnicities. Libraries and museums rank higher in trustworthiness than all other information sources including government, commercial, and private Web sites. The study shows that the public trust of museums and libraries migrates to the online environment.
* The explosive growth of information available in the “Information Age” actually whets Americans’ appetite for more information. People search for information in many places and since the use of one source leads to others, museums, public libraries, and the Internet complement each other in this information-rich environment.
* The Internet is not replacing in-person visits to libraries and museums and may actually increase onsite use of libraries and museums. There is a positive relationship between Internet use and in-person visits to museums and public libraries.

Institute of Museum and Library Services. (2008). InterConnections: A National Study of Users and Potential Users of Online Information. Washington, DC: Author.

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