Internet Top Choice for People Who Need Problem-Solving Info: Pew Survey Also Shows That Internet Users Are More Likely to Use Libraries to Find Needed Information-And for General-Patronage Purposes

Information Outlook, February 2008 | Go to article overview

Internet Top Choice for People Who Need Problem-Solving Info: Pew Survey Also Shows That Internet Users Are More Likely to Use Libraries to Find Needed Information-And for General-Patronage Purposes


People who faced one of several common government-related problems in the past two years were more likely to consult the Internet than other sources, including experts and family members.

In a national phone survey, respondents were asked whether they had encountered 10 possible problems in the previous two years, all of which had a potential connection to the government or government-provided information. Those who had dealt with the problems were asked where they went for help and the Internet topped the list:

* 58 percent of those who had recently experienced one of those problems said they used the Internet (at home, work, a public library, or some other place) to get help.

* 53 percent said they turned to professionals such as doctors, lawyers, or financial experts.

* 45 percent said they sought out friends and family members for advice and help.

* 36 percent said they consulted newspapers and magazines.

* 34 percent said they directly contacted a government office or agency.

* 16 percent said they consulted television and radio.

* 13 percent said they went to the public library.

The survey results also challenge the assumption that libraries are losing relevance in the Internet age. Libraries drew visits by more than half of Americans (53 percent) in the past year for all kinds of purposes, not just the problems mentioned in the survey. And it was the young adults in tech-loving Generation Y (ages 18-30) who led the pack. Compared to their elders, Gen Y members were the most likely to use libraries for locate problem-solving information and in general patronage for any purpose.

Furthermore, it is young adults who are the most likely to say they will use libraries in the future when they encounter problems: 40 percent of Gen Y said they would do that, compared with 20 percent of those above age 30 who say they would go to a library.

"These findings turn our thinking about libraries upside down. Librarians have been asked whether the Internet makes libraries less relevant. It has not. Internet use seems to create an information hunger and it is information-savvy young people who are the most likely to visit libraries," noted Leigh Estabrook, dean and professor emerita at the University of Illinois, co-author of a report on the results.

She added that Internet users were much more likely to patronize libraries than non-users (61 percent vs. 28 percent).

This report is the fruit of a partnership of the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign and the Pew Internet & American Life Project. It was funded with a grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services, an agency that is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 122,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The survey was conducted between June and September 2007, among a sample of 2,796 adults, 18 and older. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.

Survey Focus

The focus of the survey was how Americans address common problems that might be linked to government. The problems covered in the survey: 1) dealing with a serious illness or health concern; 2) making a decision about school enrollment, financing school, or upgrading work skills; 3) dealing with a tax matter; 4) changing a job or starting a business; 5) getting information about Medicare, Medicaid, or food stamps; 6) getting information about Social Security or military benefits; 7) getting information about voter registration or a government policy; 8) seeking helping on a local government matter such as a traffic problem or schools; 9) becoming involved in a legal matter; and 10) becoming a citizen or helping another person with an immigration matter.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Internet Top Choice for People Who Need Problem-Solving Info: Pew Survey Also Shows That Internet Users Are More Likely to Use Libraries to Find Needed Information-And for General-Patronage Purposes
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.