Exploring the Freckle Project

Libraries can use data from the Freckle Project to improve their services and better serve their communities.

Knowing why people read what they read impacts future library services and resources.

We’ve written on the Freckle Project before, but the information it provides is just as important as ever. To review, the Freckle Project is a research initiative that we conduct through twice-yearly surveys. For each survey, we ask a number of American readers one simple question: “Where did you get that book?”

“Where Did You Get That Book?”

Though answers varied from person to person, we noticed one common trend: With each survey, American readers are moving further into the digital world. The broader availability of e-books and audiobooks provides a previously unheard-of level of convenience when it comes to reading, and more and more Americans are embracing that convenience as time goes on. 

While the percentage of print readers is still higher than that of e-book readers (49 percent and 38 percent, respectively), the gap continues to close, with e-books showing signs of eventually overtaking print books entirely.


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The Importance of Demographic Research

So, why is any of this important? It’s all well and good to have the numbers, but how exactly do they serve American libraries and library users? As you may know, public libraries rely heavily on data to continue functioning. They receive funding from the local government based on how much people use their services, check out books, and the like.

This means that to keep doing everything they do, public libraries must understand the community they’re serving and constantly strive to serve them better.


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What This Means for Libraries

Considering the trend of increasingly digital reading, libraries will likely provide more online and digital options for browsing books in the near future. Every library aims to make knowledge readily available and easily accessible to anyone, regardless of their needs, preferences, or status. This means that libraries meet their patrons where they are, ensuring they always have the chance to access the resources needed.

Based on the Freckle Report’s data, it seems the best way to do this is by embracing the digital revolution of reading. Chances are, as the years go by, you’ll notice that it’s easier than ever to access your library online. The building itself will continue to stand as a community center of sorts, serving all members of the community as it always has.

If you’d like to learn more about recent library trends and what they mean for the average American, feel free to visit us at EveryLibrary today!



Visit www.everylibrary.org to learn more about our work on behalf of libraries. 

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