The Future of Library Websites
October 6th, 2016
As technology continues to progress into the future, many institutions are beginning to get left in the dust. Over the past few years, libraries have begun to modernize themselves in order to keep up with new trends in technology. We recently did some research on several studies that examine the current trends and future of libraries. Here’s what we’ve found:
- Only 1 in 5 libraries actually have a responsive website. This means almost 80% of patrons are having a difficult time accessing library websites from their mobile devices. By refusing to keep up with the world around us, patrons are left to deal with inconvenience and frustration. As a result, many will look elsewhere in order to access books or resources. Libraries are now being forced to improve their usability and presence on the web in order to keep up with the demand of their future-forward patrons.
- Both younger and older generations are using technology as a way to connect to different libraries. Unsurprisingly, the younger generation is using a library’s website or mobile application to access information. However, these days adults over the age of thirty seem to be using these devices to connect to libraries as well. Although it seems the age gap is slowly closing, age groups from ages 16-29 years old and from ages 30-49 years old both use library websites and mobile applications equally. This trend suggests that as time and technology move forward, the older generation is still making an effort to keep up with digital resources.
- 90% of libraries have an incorporated an eBook lending program. This program uses resources like OverDrive, Hoopla, and Zinio, which allow users to have an online account connected to their library card. Once connected, users can borrow materials and have them sent directly to their personal digital and mobile device. This allows users to access materials without having to leave their home.
- Libraries are beginning to use more up to date tools in order to keep up with the technology going on around the world. In order to modernize themselves, some libraries are beginning to add tools, such as 3-D printers, which are allowing patrons to use more creativity and imagination.
- Another advancement libraries have made is providing access to online databases for research and study. A large percentage of library patrons are students using the library as a viable and trust-worthy source for research and reference. Studies have shown that only small percentage of students (12-14% based on degree) physically visit the library, and that a higher percentage of student library users actually take advantage of the library’s online resources instead. Check out our infographic here.
Despite these advances, many libraries continue to struggle with making available resources accessible. This is due to the undermining issue library websites in many cases lack proper technology, content management, and accessibility. In order to access more information on achieving a cutting edge website, please contact us.