Research and Reports

There is a rapidly expanding knowledge base of published studies, resources and tools that promote the need for and benefits of public access technology. Several recent studies, highlighted below, provide a compelling basis for understanding the need for and value of Edge benchmarks in a larger context of policy and practice.

Research Reports from the Pew Research Center:

Libraries and Learning

Majorities of Americans think local libraries serve the educational needs of their communities and families pretty well and library users often outpace others in learning activities. But many do not know about key education services libraries provide.

Library Services in the Digital Age

In this digital age, people are using technology more and more to find and access information. In January 2013, the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, released the findings of a survey of Americans' attitudes and expectations of public libraries. Results show that many library patrons are eager to see libraries’ digital services expand, yet also feel that print books remain important in the digital age.

Publications sponsored by The Institute for Museum & Library Services (IMLS):

Building Digitally Inclusive Communities: A Brief Guide to the Proposed Framework for Digitally Inclusive Communities

In 2010, the Federal Communications Commission released the National Broadband Plan, which called on IMLS and other leaders to create recommendations that would help local communities ensure that all people have equitable access to digital opportunity. In partnership with the University of Washington's Information School and the International City/County Managers, IMLS has created the findings and recommendations summarized in this report.

Public Libraries in the United States Survey: Fiscal Year 2010

The Public Libraries in the United States Survey report analyzes data supplied annually by over 98% of public libraries across the country. This report, which was published in January 2013, features nine performance indicators and examines differences in library service at the locality levels (city, suburb, town, rural and national).

Research Brief No. 4: Who is in the Queue? Public Access Computer Users

This brief provides a demographic analysis of public access computer users and demonstrates that libraries provide much more that simply access.

Opportunity for All: How the American Public Benefits from Internet Access at U.S. Libraries

A groundbreaking study that quantifies the exponential growth of computer and Internet use in public libraries as well as the beneficial impact that using these resources has on people's ability to complete essential tasks.

Opportunity for All: How Library Policies and Practices Impact Public Internet Access

An important follow-up study that demonstrates the need to create policies and practices that support high-quality technology services that are accessible to as many people as possible.

From the American Library Association (ALA):

Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study: 2011—2012

Published by ALA's Office for Research & Statistics and the Information Policy & Access Center at the University of Maryland, this is an annual report of a longitudinal survey that began in 1994.

From the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation:

Digital and Media Literacy: A Plan of Action

This policy paper addresses the Knight Commission's recommendations that digital and media literacy be strengthened in order to get citizens more engaged in their communities. It focuses on steps to ensure that citizens are equipped with the analytical and communications skills they need to be successful in the 21st century. It also proposes the integration of digital and media literacy into advocacy campaigns, education curricula, and community-based initiatives.