Pew Research Center Receives $1.4 Million for Public Libraries Study

The Pew Research Center has announced a three-year, $1.4 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to study the changing role of public libraries in the digital age.

Awarded through the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life project, the initiative seeks to determine the ways in which public library patrons' needs and expectations are shifting with the proliferation of e-books, mobile connectivity, and digital content. Through a series of national surveys, focus groups in a diverse mix of communities, and special surveys of library patrons, the center aims to identify trends in the habits and tastes of library users across the country.

"We're thankful to the Gates Foundation for its generous support for this new effort, which will aid Pew Research Center's mission to provide the public with high-quality and objective data on social trends and the issues of the day," said Pew Research Center president Andrew Kohut. "As with all Pew Research Center reports, the new series will seek to inform, not to prescribe; it will provide facts to librarians, policy makers, and the public to help them better understand how technology trends are shaping libraries and the communities they serve."