May 18, 2022

Highlights: Survey of Public Library Plans for Workstations, Personal Computers, Laptops and Other Computing Devices

A new report from Primary Research Group.

Ordering Info and Five Page Excerpt Available Here (ISBN 978-1-57440-243-8).

The study looks at the purchasing plans and computer use policies of public libraries in the United States and Canada.

Just a few of the study’s main findings are that:

  • The public library systems in the sample spent a mean of $47,357 for personal computers and workstations in the past year
  • Public libraries with more than 10 employees purchased a mean of 3.71 laptop computers in the past year
  • Libraries with a budget of less than $100,000 had an average stock of only 1.31 laptops
  • The libraries in the sample spent a mean of $824 to pay for laptops lost to theft or misplacement in the past year
  • The libraries in the sample spent a mean of $483 on eBook reading devices in 2012
  • 44.% of the libraries currently own or lease an Amazon Kindle
  • 18.37% of the libraries plan on purchasing a Barnes & Noble nook over the next two years
  • Main public libraries had an average of 3.29 “computer centers” or “information commons” in their main library
  • 23.08% of libraries with a budget higher than $1 million and 37.5% of public library systems have invested between $500 and $5,000 in iPhone technology
  • 94.44% of libraries with 1 to 10 FTE employees have made no investment in Android-based phone technology
About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.