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SWON News: Future of Libraries

Engaging our Distant Admirers

Thursday, June 12, 2014  
Posted by: Melanie
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Pew Typology Image

In the Pew Research Library Typology Report published in March, a full 10% of the population turned out to be what Pew named, “Distant Admirers.” These are people who “…have never used a library.” But often “…rely indirectly on various library services.” What else do we know about them? This group has the largest share of Hispanics (27%), more than half are male, they have lower levels of education and income. What came to my mind on reading that description was the scenario of the father of an immigrant family who works two jobs, whose kids are in American public schools, using the library, attending programs. He’s proud of his kids, who may end up being the first in the family to graduate from High School and College. He knows the library is important, there’s just not that much for him, in part due to a language barrier, in part due to his work schedule.  We often wonder about the people who don’t use libraries, how we can be more inviting, more inclusive. Well, having this level of detail and then combining it with the latest census data for your area can help you develop strategies that are targeted. For example, do you have Spanish language car repair manuals that circulate? Do you advertise your multi-cultural family programs in the local mercado? 

Dig into the Pew Research Library Typology Report at your next library management meeting. You’ve got some great things to do.

Image attribution: American Libraries Direct


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