13 December 2006


In this post on Stephen’s Lighthouse, Stephen Abram reports on a survey by AP and AOL on how teens—and adults—use instant messaging.

Some of the findings that may impact us:
* 72 percent of teens who use IM send more IMs than emails; the figure for adults is 26 percent (54 percent of adults surveyed IM every day)
* teens share photos, music and videos; adults audio chat more
* 30 percent of teens couldn’t imagine life without IM; 17 percent of the adults agree
* many multitask online—IM, checking email, searching
* 63 percent of teens research homework assignments online and 53 percent use IM to get help (though only 9 percent from a teacher)
* 27 percent of adults IM at work; 41 percent say that it makes them more productive

The impact on libraries? Since Abram notes that the average IM user is 32, we cannot dismiss this as a “teen” thing. Offering reference, reader’s advisory, reserve book notifications, and other services via IM (and other “non-traditional” means) is fast leaving the realm of “techie” or “cutting edge” and moving to “must-do” and “standard.” Abram reminds us that IM, like any other library service, must be promoted to be adopted.

Are you using IM? Why not? What are the implications for your future if you don’t? Think about it!

Abram’s post: http://stephenslighthouse.sirsidynix.com/archives/2006/12/teens_and_im.html
The survey: http://press.aol.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=1138&section_id=15

No comments: