2013 Survey Results and Reports



2013 Digital Inclusion Survey Report Findings

The ubiquity of the Internet poses challenges and opportunities for individuals and communities alike. These challenges and opportunities, however, are not evenly distributed across or within individuals and communities. Equitable access to and participation in the online environment is essential for success in education, employment, finance, health and wellness, civic engagement, and a democratic society. And yet, communities and individuals find themselves at differing levels of readiness in their ability to access and use the Internet, robust and scalable broadband, a range of digital technologies, and digital content. The Digital Inclusion Survey addresses the efforts of a particular set of community-based institutions – public libraries – to address disparities and provide opportunity to individuals and communities by providing free access to broadband, public access technologies, digital content, digital literacy learning opportunities, and a range of programming that helps build digitally inclusive communities.

Below are selected findings from the 2013 Digital Inclusion Survey. Findings are expanded upon in the:

  • 2013 Digital Inclusion Survey National Report, which presents detailed findings from the 2013 survey at the national level;
  • 2013 Digital Inclusion Executive Summary, which offers an analysis of key findings from the 2013 survey; and
  • 2013 Digital Inclusion State Supplement, which presents detailed and summary findings at the state level from the 2013 survey. [Note: Analysis was not possible for Georgia, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Tennessee due to insufficient response rates from libraries on those states.]

Also available are an interactive mapping tool that combines community level data with 2013 Digital Inclusion Survey data, specific state pages that offer a state-level view of the interactive map along with selected state data analysis, and issue briefs that offer perspectives on key community issue areas such as broadband, access, employment, digital inclusion, digital literacy, and e-government.


Study Highlights

  • Public libraries report an average download speed of 57Mbps. City libraries report an average subscribed download speed of over 100Mbps, as compared to an average subscribed download speed of just over 21Mbps for rural public libraries.
  • Two-thirds of libraries overall report a desire to increase broadband connectivity. However, 58.8 percent of libraries report that budgetary constraints affect their ability to increase bandwidth while slightly less than one-third of libraries report that outside entities make the decisions regarding their branch’s bandwidth.
  • Nearly all (98.0%) public libraries outlets offer some form of technology training to patrons. City libraries are more likely to offer formal technology training than other libraries. For example, 77.6% of city libraries offer formal computer skills training as opposed to 57.9% of suburban libraries, 47.7% of town libraries, and 32.5% of rural libraries.
  • Nearly all public libraries (99.5%) reported offering education and learning programs. Almost all (98.4%) offer summer reading programs.
  • A vast majority (95.0%) of libraries assist patrons with important employment resources.
  • Nearly 80% of libraries offer programs that aid patrons with job application, such as interview skills and resume development.
  • A majority of libraries (72.2%) help patrons to access and to use employment databases, as well as to access and use online business information resources (58.9%).
  • Three-fourths of libraries overall offer community, civic engagement, or E-government programs. While 85% of city outlets offer these programs, 70% of both town and rural libraries offer them. Nearly all libraries offer patrons assistance in completing online government forms.
  • An overall majority (57.9%) of libraries conduct health and wellness programs. Nearly half (46.3%) of rural libraries offer these programs, contrasted to the nearly three-fourths of suburban libraries that offer them.
  • Over half (55.9%) of libraries offer programs that promote the development of healthy lifestyles.