Research Study Reveals the Internet’s Impact on Libraries and Museums

IMLS Announces Results of Study on the Internet’s Impact on Museums and Libraries

MIAMI, FL—Institute of Museum and Library Services Director Anne-Imelda Radice released results of InterConnections: A National Study of Users and Potential Users of Online Information March 6 at the 9th annual WebWise Conference on Libraries and Museums in the Digital World in Miami. This new report offers insight into the ways people search for information in the online age, and how this impacts the ways they interact with public libraries and museums, both online and in person.

“Museums and libraries are alive and well in the digital world!” Radice said. “The InterConnections report shows how people currently search for information and makes the case that the libraries and museums must provide service both online and in person.”

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.

The InterConnections report provides evidence that public libraries and museums are thriving in the Internet Age as trusted providers of information to people of all ages.

To view the report, please go to 2008 WebWise Conference on Libraries and Museums in the Digital World on March 6, 2008. The annual late winter WebWise Conference draws museum, library, information systems, and other professionals to explore new research and innovation in digital technology. The 2008 conference, co-hosted by IMLS and The Wolfsonian–Florida International University (The Wolfsonian–FIU), with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, highlights the growing convergence between libraries and museums in collection and information management. For more information, go to

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 122,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute’s mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. The Institute works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development. To learn more about the Institute, please visit

Academy member Thomas S. Blanton featured in Sundance film

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More information is available on the National Security Archives Web site.

Knowledge Trust Honors ceremony awards eight

Sept. 20, 2007 - Hollywood’s Emmy Awards had nothing on a special award ceremony in Chapel Hill, NC Monday evening that honored the best of the best in information and library science and information technology.

The black tie event, the second annual Knowledge TrustSM Honors award program, recognized eight who are making a significant difference in their fields. This year’s award categories included: Access, Education, Exploration, Innovation, Next-Generation Leadership, Preservation and two Lifetime Achievement awards.

The honorees are Thomas S. Blanton, director, National Security Archive, George Washington University, Washington, D.C.; Jeffrey Elkner, project leader, Open Book Project and teacher, Arlington County Public Schools, Arlington, VA; John Hanke, director, Google Earth and Maps, Mountain View, CA; Pamela Jones, founder and editor of Groklaw; Brewster Kahle, digital librarian, director and co-founder, the Internet Archive, San Francisco, CA; Ryan P. Allis, co-founder and chief executive officer, iContact, Durham, NC; Thomas Barnett, graphic designer, writer and digital artist, Chapel Hill, NC; and David P. Reed, information scientist, adjunct professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Laboratory, Cambridge, MA and HP Fellow at Hewlett-Packard Laboratories.

“Those honored tonight were selected from an extraordinary group of nominees and were, despite lengthy discussion and review, unanimously the choices of the judging committee,” said Dr. José-Marie Griffiths, dean of the UNC at Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Science and founding chair of The Knowledge TrustSM and the Louis Round Wilson Academy. “The winners are those who challenge the status quo. They represent what can happen when innovation, entrepreneurship and a willing spirit takes hold.” (more…)

Brewster Kahle interviewed in the Library Journal

Brewster Kahle, Louis Round Wilson Academy member, and his Open Content Alliance were profiled in the August 15 issue of the Library Journal. The article, “Scan this Book!” discussed the “race to digitize the public domain.”

Donald W. King named Distinguished Research Professor

April 4, 2007 – Entrepreneur and renowned researcher and statistician, Donald W. King, has been appointed Distinguished Research Professor by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Information and Library Science (SILS). (more…)

British Library and US Department of Energy to collaborate on global science gateway

January 25 2007 — Dr. Raymond L. Orbach, Under Secretary for Science of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), has signed an agreement with Lynne Brindley, Chief Executive of the British Library, to collaborate on the development of a global science gateway. The gateway would eventually make science information resources of many nations accessible via a single Internet portal.

Read the full story.

Drs. José-Marie Griffiths and Beth Fitzsimmons appointed to National Board

jmgriffithsrotator.jpgNov. 13, 2006 - Dr. José-Marie Griffiths, dean of the School of Information and Library Science (SILS) and chair of the Louis Round Wilson Academy, and Dr. Beth Fitzsimmons, member of the Louis Round Wilson Academy and the SILS Board of Visitors, have been appointed to serve on the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) Advisory Board.


Dr. Nancy Davenport nominated to national commission

Dr. Nancy Davenport, Louis Round Wilson Academy member, has been nominated by President George W. Bush to serve as a member of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

“The National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), a statutory body affiliated with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), supports a wide range of activities to preserve, publish, and encourage the use of documentary sources, created in every medium ranging from quill pen to computer, relating to the history of the United States.” It is a 15 member commission chaired by the nation’s archivist. The Commission was created in 1934 by the United States Congress. (more…)

Dr. Robert S. Martin to serve on National Council on the Humanities

President George W. Bush nominated Dr. Robert S. Martin to serve on the National Council on the Humanities, an advisory board to the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The nomination has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

The National Council on the Humanities is a board of 26 distinguished private citizens appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate who advise the chairman of the NEH. Martin’s service to the board is a six-year term ending January 26, 2012. (more…)

Dr. José-Marie Griffiths named to National Science Board

Internationally acclaimed policy expert, researcher and university administrator, Dr. José-Marie Griffiths, has been appointed to the United States National Science Board. She was nominated by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the United States Senate for a term of six years.

Griffiths is the dean of the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and founding chair of The Knowledge TrustSM, which is concerned with the role and preparation of 21st -century knowledge professionals. (more…)

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