The Institute of Museum and Library Services has published InterConnections: The IMLS National Study on the Use of Libraries, Museums and the Internet. The full conclusions gives you the major findings.
Here's an excerpt from the press release:
IMLS sponsored this national study through a cooperative agreement with a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill research team led by José-Marie Griffiths and Donald W. King, recognized leaders in information research. Their findings are based on five surveys of 1,000 to 1,600 adults each that were conducted during 2006. The study found that:
- Libraries and museums are the most trusted sources of online information among adults of all ages, education levels, races, and ethnicities. Libraries and museums rank higher in trustworthiness than all other information sources including government, commercial, and private Web sites. The study shows that the public trust of museums and libraries migrates to the online environment.
- The explosive growth of information available in the “Information Age” actually whets Americans’ appetite for more information. People search for information in many places and since the use of one source leads to others, museums, public libraries, and the Internet complement each other in this information-rich environment.
- The Internet is not replacing in-person visits to libraries and museums and may actually increase onsite use of libraries and museums. There is a positive relationship between Internet use and in-person visits to museums and public libraries.