Among the big announcements at the 2015 ALA Midwinter Meeting, the Book Industry Study Group (BISG) and the American Library Association (ALA) announced a partnership to produce “a major survey of public library patrons’ use of digital content.” The survey will seek to understand library patrons’ use of digital resources and other services offered by public libraries, and will “examine the impact of digital consumption behaviors, including the adoption of new business models,” on library usage across America.

The questions are being developed jointly by BISG and ALA, and the survey will be fielded by the research firm Nielsen, with editorial and analysis provided by Jim Milliot of PW. Patrons will be asked about “preferred device usage, preferences for print or digital formats, collection assessment, and other issues that affect the use and distribution of published content in public libraries.”

Results from the survey will be first announced at the American Library Association’s Annual Conference in San Francisco, CA, June 25-30, 2015, and a printed report available for purchase will be published on September 8, 2015, which coincides with National Library Card Sign-Up Month.

BISG executive director Len Vlahos said the BISG/ALA partnership, a first for the two groups, “will provide the publishing industry and library administrators alike with invaluable insight into how readers interact with e-books in a library environment.”

Keith Fiels, executive director of ALA, said ALA is particularly pleased to work with BISG, and said the study aims to “establish a benchmark, and usage trends, related to the digital reading experience of library patrons.”