In today’s rapidly changing world of technology and information, libraries find themselves trying to understand more about their users. The results of a qualitative survey of 184 women library patrons give insight into why and how they use library and information technology and how they learned to use that technology. Women discuss what services they particularly value, including traditional services like printed books and reference, but also their appreciation and use of the Internet, including the library’s Web site and databases. Trends showed that women are still the ones who bring children to the library and encourage their use of books. They also value the library as a place of solitude where they can find books or just be by themselves. Women use a variety of resources outside of the library to locate information as they make choices about how to find information in everyday life. It will be important for public libraries to discover ways to increase their role in educating women about library use, particularly electronic resources, and how to effectively locate and evaluate information from the Web and other resources so libraries can remain a vital part of lifelong learning.
Fidishun, D. (2007). Women and the public library: Using technology, using the library. Library Trends, 56(2), 328-343. http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/lib.2008.0010