The IMLS has funded the University at Buffalo School of Informatics to conduct a follow-up to a study of the impact of the internet on library use.

“At that time, we found that 55 percent of the library users surveyed had Internet access at home,” D’Elia says, “so it was clear that use of the two information sources was not an either-or proposition. Internet users also use the library rather extensively.

“We expect to get the same results this time… that Internet use does not reduce library use. We’ll see if there is a percentage change in any of the areas studied.” …

“In the previous study, we found that while they tended to use the Internet to get news, health information, recipes and other ‘short-term’ material in a brief format, they used the library for in-depth research and extensive reading. …

They found no evidence among respondents who used both the library and the Internet that Internet use was changing the reasons why people used the library or the frequency of their library use, but that respondents used each information source for different reasons.

That original study was published as:

D’Elia, G., et al. (2002). The impact of the Internet on public library use: An analysis of the current consumer market for library and Internet services. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 53 (10), 802-820.

Interesting: information users are medium-agnostic, but channel-aware. I mean, users use all media but are specific about what information needs they fulfill via which channels.

care about what type of information

Internet threat to libraries analyzed, from the UB Reporter