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Philadelphia Library Visits Down, but Digital Uses Rising

Pew Report – “One of the concerns facing those who operate, fund, and care about libraries is whether use of brick-and-mortar facilities will decline as people become more accustomed to reading e-books and accessing other services online. The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Philadelphia research initiative explored this topic by looking at the changing demands on the Free Library of Philadelphia—the city’s public library system—in 2012. Our study showed that library visits had increased 11 percent from 2005 to 2011. With the recent release of Pew Research Center poll findings that documented a steady decline in library usage nationwide, we decided to take another look at Philadelphia’s system to see how it has been faring. We found that although visits to the library’s 54 locations have followed the national trend downward, use of the system’s resources, particularly those available online, has gone up.”

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