As part of the U.S. Book Show's Libraries Are Essential program, professors Rachel Noorda and Kathi Inman Berens, faculty members of the Portland State University graduate program in Book Publishing offered a 21-minute presentation of some key findings from their groundbreaking survey report Immersive Media & Books 2020.

The report, which underwritten by the Panorama Project (with financial support from OverDrive, the Book Industry Study Group, the American Library Association and the Independent Book Publishers Association) is one of the most ambitious, and comprehensive efforts to measure consumer media consumption and behavior in the digital age. It draws on data from more than 4,300 pre-qualified respondents who were surveyed from September through November of 2020 with demographic data broken down into three age groups, five U.S. regions, and seven racial/ethnic groups.

Among the report's key findings: particularly strong book buying patterns among Black and Latinx millennials, and surprising engagement patterns in the age of digital media with some 61% of e-book readers and 70% of audiobook listeners reporting that they "multitask" when engaging with digital content. The report also found that libraries, bookstores, and online channels "mutually reinforce" each other.

You can check out the full report online here. In addition, the considerable data underpinning the report is open access and available. The full Libraries Are Essential program, including the digital content panel in which this report was discussed, will be available later in June.