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At the beginning of this month, the Pew Research Center published a new report on “Parents, children, libraries and reading” which states that “Parents… have a special relationship with libraries”, using it more than non-parents and looking for more technology-related developments, along with more comfortable spaces in which to spend their time.

Little is said about e-books, other than that parents of young children are more likely to borrow e-books than are other adults – 9% compared with 5%, but they are also more likely to visit the library to use the Internet – 40% to 27%.
“Parents are also more likely than other adults to think libraries should definitely offer a broader selection of e-books (62% vs. 49%) and definitely offer more interactive learning experiences (54% vs. 43%).”

Parents also show greater interest in a variety of new types of service either already offered or discussed by public librarians in the USA: these include online reference services and facilities for trying out new technology gadgets.

Not surprisingly, because higher income families are more likely to possess these facilities at home, “parents living in households earning less than $50,000 are more likely… to say that they would be ‘very likely’ to take advantage of” developments such as making e-readers available, classes on downloading and on using e-readers, and the availability of a “digital media lab”.